With the World Cup only happening every four years, it is quite normal for nations to face each other who have perhaps never played before. We have decided to explore that even further with the World Cup going on right now.
Canada face Belgium this afternoon for the first time in history, Switzerland vs Cameroon goes down for the first time in World Cup history tomorrow. So without further ado, here are a list of some of the first-time matches that are set to happen at the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
First Time World Cup Matches
Already in the 2022 Qatar World Cup, there have been a few soccer matches between nations who have never faced each other before. Some have already happened before in this tournament, with a lot more scheduled to happen throughout the group stages of the World Cup over the next couple of weeks.
With no history between the two respective nations, it can be difficult for offshore sportsbooks to create odds on these match-ups. For example, already in this tournament, Senegal played the Netherlands in Group A on Monday. The Netherlands are regarded as one of the strongest teams in the tournament and were the betting favorites, but Senegal are of course the AFCON champions.
The Netherlands did end up winning, but it was far from an easy game. Similarly, England had never played Iran before their opening game of Group B at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Gareth Southgate’s men did win 6-2 in the end, but a lot of people though Iran could upset the English, given they are ranked #20 in the Official FIFA World Rankings.
Without further ado, here are some match-ups that have happened or are set to happen in the 2022 World Cup. There have already been three played and another five to come in the remaining group stages matches!
England vs Iran
The Group B opener between England and Iran on Monday ended up with the Three Lions running riot and putting six past Iran. The game finished 6-2 to the 2018 World Cup semi-finalists, but this was in fact the first time the two nations had ever met in history.
It just so happened that the first time both Iran and England faced each other was at the 2022 Qatar World Cup. Iran did qualify for the last two World Cup’s in Brazil and Russia respectively, but never got to play against England. England fans will always remember the first time their side played Iran now as that 6-2 thumping in the opener of the 2022 World Cup.
Senegal vs Netherlands
Just like England vs Iran, this match in Group A of the World Cup saw Senegal and the Netherlands face off for the very first time in history.
Senegal came to the World Cup with high hopes, having won the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year. The Netherlands are tipped to be dark horses this tournament by some fans around the world, and they proved just why that is the case.
The Dutch put on a clinical display, overcoming Senegal 2-0 to get their World Cup campaign off to the best possible start. Again, this was the first time the two nations had ever met and it just so happened to be in this World Cup in Qatar.
Morocco vs Croatia
The final game that has already happened saw Morocco and Croatia battle it out for the very first time in either nations’ history.
Croatia are coming to the 2022 World Cup after a miraculous tournament four years ago which saw them reach the final. They were beaten in the end by France, but Croatia are certainly a strong soccer side and will fancy their chances to go deep into the tournament again this time around.
Morocco qualified for the 2018 World Cup for the first time in 20 years, so it may come as no surprise that these two countries had never met before the early hours of this morning. It was a relatively dull match in the end with a 0-0 score the final outcome.
Belgium vs Canada
The Maple Leafs get their 2022 World Cup campaign up and running tonight as they face the 2018 World cup semi-finalists Belgium in their opening Group F match.
These two sides have never met in history, and that won’t come as a huge surprise. Canada haven’t qualified for the World Cup since 1986, and Belgium have only really became a strong footballing nation in the past decade or so.
The fact they are from two different continents and are tens of thousands of miles from each other may have something to do with it too. Belgium are the favorites tonight with the majority of soccer betting apps to win this game, but Canada will be hopeful of pulling off the upset.
Wales vs Iran
Another first for Iran, who have already faced a nation for the first time in the opening game of the 2022 World Cup. Wales and Iran have never faced one another, and will do for the first time in history on Friday in the second round of fixtures in Group B.
Wales will likely be the favorites in terms of soccer odds given they drew their first game of the campaign with the US, meanwhile Iran got hammered by the English.
There is just one space in the world rankings between these two sides, with Wales 19th and Iran 20th. So, on paper this should be a really tight game, so it will be interesting to see who the sportsbooks give the edge to in the first ever meeting in history between Wales and Iran.
Qatar vs Senegal
Another fixture that has never happened in soccer history before is this match-up between the AFCON champions Senegal and the 2022 World Cup hosts, Qatar.
Both of these sides suffered 2-0 defeats in their opening Group A games on Sunday and Monday respectively, so will be hopeful of bouncing back and claiming their first points of the World Cup campaign.
On paper, Senegal should be the favorites and will fancy their chances for sure given the fact they were competitive against the Netherlands and the fact the hosts looked poor against Ecuador. However, Qatar will be hopeful of using their home advantage to overcome the best team in Africa and claim their first ever World Cup victory.
Croatia vs Canada
Both Croatia and Canada have ever faced each other in history, but are set to lock horns for the very first time over the weekend at this year’s World Cup.
Given the fact Croatia reached the final in Russia four years ago and have star players such as Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic in their ranks, they will fancy their chances of claiming their first win of the tournament.
There are 29 places in the FIFA World Rankings between these two nations, so it is fair to say that Croatia will be incredibly disappointed if they don’t walk away from their first ever meeting against the Maple Leafs with all three points and their first win of the 2022 World Cup campaign.
Netherlands vs Qatar
The second time both of these nations have featured on this list. The Netherlands and Qatar are set to face off on Tuesday November 29 in the third and final Group A game for each side.
Of course, this is the first time they will have faced one another which comes as no surprise at all, given the fact Qatar aren’t renowned for their football and are featuring in the World Cup Finals for the first time ever by default. The Netherlands aren’t only the strongest team in Group A, but they look like really World Cup contenders this year and could perhaps go all the way.
Here at The Sports Daily we think it is fair to assume that the men in orange will fancy their chances against Qatar. They will be hoping to get the job done in emphatic style against the 2022 World Cup hosts and get their head-to-head record off to a winning start.
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