With the 2022 World Cup qualification stage close to concluding, we know nearly every team that will travel to Qatar this winter.
Unfortunately, some of the biggest stars in the world won’t be there and we have picked out a Premier League XI who failed to qualify.
Goalkeeper: Martin Dubravka (Newcastle and Slovakia)
Newcastle No. 1 Dubravka only played twice for Slovakia in Group H of their World Cup qualifying group due to illness and injury. The Central European country finished third behind Russia and Croatia. Russia’s suspension led to hopes that Slovakia would replace them in the play-offs but FIFA decided to let Poland advance instead.
Dubravka is an important player for club and country. The 30-cap man played every minute for Slovakia at Euro 2020, conceding seven goals, including five against Spain. Seven goals conceded in three isn’t ideal, and the Magpies are pretty keen on replacing him this summer, but trust us, he’s a good goalkeeper.
Right-back: Unknown England player
As everyone is aware, England are very stacked at right-back and Gareth Southgate will probably find a way to call up four or five of them for the tournament in Qatar.
It is guaranteed that an excellent right-back will miss out due to talent available in that position. Aaron Wan-Bissaka is in international limbo and seems extremely far from receiving another call-up.
Meanwhile, you’ve got the choice of Kieran Trippier, Reece James, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kyle Walker, Kyle Walker-Peters and Tariq Lamptey, though injuries conspired to see Ben White play there this week.
Centre-half: Caglar Soyuncu (Leicester and Turkey)
Soyuncu is one of the first names on the teamsheet for both Leicester and Turkey. He played 90 minutes as Portugal knocked his country out in the play-offs. They only tasted defeat once in Group G, and it was a big one, losing 6-1 to the Netherlands in a game that Soyuncu was sent off in…
That result essentially cost Turkey a place in the World Cup, where they probably would have gone on to be called dark horses only to look absolutely s**t.
Centre-half: Victor Lindelof (Manchester United and Sweden)
Sweden captain Lindelof played ten games in qualification as Janne Andersson’s side lost 2-0 to Poland in the final play-off on Tuesday. They got past a tough Czech Republic side before losing to Robert Lewandowski and co. Despite beating them at Euro 2020, the Swedes could not get over that final hurdle.
Lindelof has some excellent, young international teammates, and failing to reach the World Cup will really hurt. They will be kicking themselves for losing to Greece and Georgia in their qualifying group.
Left-back: Arthur Masuaku (West Ham and DR Congo)
When Scotland do a Scotland and lose to Ukraine or Wales, Andy Robertson or Kieran Tierney can replace Masuaku, who played 90 minutes as DR Congo were thrashed 4-1 by Morocco on Tuesday night to crash out in the last stage of African qualifying.
Masuaku only has ten caps for his country and isn’t the first-choice left-back at the London Stadium, but he gets the nod ahead of Leeds and Northern Ireland utility man Stuart Dallas.
Central midfield: Jorginho (Chelsea and Italy)
The European champions shocked the world when North Macedonia beat them in Palermo to set up a tie against Portugal in the play-off final.
Despite beating England in the Euro 2020 final, the Italians will be absent from the World Cup for the second time in a row. This means that some wonderful stars will miss out, including Gianluigi Donnarumma, Marco Verratti and Lorenzo Insigne.
Jorginho was named UEFA Men’s Player of the Year after helping Italy win the Euros and Chelsea win the Champions League. With that in mind, the Blues midfielder looks like most notable World Cup absentee on paper.
Central midfield: Yves Bissouma (Brighton and Mali)
The combative Brighton midfielder was not heavily involved in Mali’s qualification process. Bissouma didn’t play in their group as Mali won five, drew one and conceded zero goals. He came in for the play-off against Tunisia as his side lost 1-0 on aggregate after a ridiculous own goal. Perhaps he is a bad luck charm? Probably not as he is their best player…but it’s an interesting narrative.
It was a tight one between him, the Czech Republic’s Tomas Soucek and Guinea’s Naby Keita, but Brighton defensive midfielder Bissouma just sneaks into our team.
— The Own Goal Zone (@OwnGoalZone) March 29, 2022
Central midfield: Martin Odegaard (Arsenal and Norway)
At the age of 23, Odegaard is already Norway captain and has been for over a year. He is very influential for his country and has formed a nice partnership with Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland. The Arsenal playmaker played all ten matches as his country came third in Group G behind Turkey and the Netherlands.
Norway have only made the World Cup three times and are awaiting their first appearance in the 21st century. With Haaland and Odegaard leading the team, the 2022 competition was a great opportunity. They will definitely fancy their chances for 2026.
Right-winger: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool and Egypt)
We said that Jorginho could be the most notable player not to appear at this year’s World Cup, but he clearly isn’t. It’s Salah or Haaland. The former is one of the favourites to win the Ballon d’Or this year but the lack of a World Cup appearance could hinder his chances. Could? It absolutely will.
Two months after losing to Senegal on penalties in the African Cup of Nations final, Egypt were beaten by Sadio Mane’s side in a shootout again, this time to miss out on a place in Qatar.
The Egyptians are not happy after losing to Senegal. Salah – who has 38 goal contributions in 36 games for Liverpool this season – and his teammates had lasers pointed at them during the shootout, resulting in the 29-year-old forward blazing his spot-kick over the bar.
Mohamed Salah before his penalty miss against Senegal. pic.twitter.com/szlmfxDJkN
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 29, 2022
False nine: Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City and Algeria)
Man City don’t use an out-and-out striker, so neither will we. Mahrez can operate as a false nine, despite playing as a right-winger for the vast majority of his career.
It hasn’t been a great 2022 for Algeria, who were knocked out of their AFCON group after failing to beat Sierra Leonne, Equatorial Guinea or the Ivory Coast. Despite a 1-0 win in Cameroon in their play-off first leg, Algeria failed to qualify after a crazy ending to the second leg. Following a 1-0 defeat in normal time, they equalised in extra time to send themselves to Qatar, only to concede to a Karl Toko Ekambi goal in the 124th minute. Ouch…
Left-winger: Luis Diaz (Liverpool and Colombia)
Liverpool’s marquee winter signing failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup after Colombia finished sixth in CONMEBOL qualifying, one point behind Peru, who advanced to the play-offs. After missing the first two qualifiers, Diaz played in every match and is now one of the first names on the Colombia teamsheet.
The 25-year-old scored 14 goals in 18 Portuguese league matches before leaving Porto for Liverpool for a reported £40.5m fee.
He is finding his feet in England very nicely and looks like a great option for Jurgen Klopp, who could lose Salah, Mane and Roberto Firmino in the summer of 2023, with the famous Anfield trio all out of contract in less than 18 months.
The post Premier League XI of players not at the 2022 World Cup appeared first on Football365.