Asian Football Confederation (AFC) holds 4.5 slots for FIFA World Cup till the 2022 edition. It is most probable that it’s slots will increase from the 2026 edition from 4.5 to 8 along with the extension of 32 nations tournament to 48 nations tournament. Teams like Japan, Iran, South Korea and Saudi Arabia are the ones who are regular representatives of the confederation in the World Cup. So, we are going to have a look on the most probable teams who could make it to the world’s biggest tournament of football from Asia.

Talking about the current situation, the AFC joint qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and Asian Cup 2023 is on a forced break due to Corona pandemic. We will pick up the most probable teams on the basis of the performances till yet in the qualifiers. We will also talk about Indian team and their chances at the end.

Japan

Japan had participated in every edition of FIFA World Cup since 1998. Japan qualified for the 1998 edition on its own and in 2002 as the host. From then the nation had never look back, giving their best in 2018 when they advanced to the knock-out stage for the first time in history. The team currently is sitting on the top of Group F winning all their four games. The team looks great and is one of the biggest team to have the highest probabilities to make it to the World Cup for the 7th consecutive times.

Iran

Currently present at the third position in Group C along with Iraq leading the group with Bahrain at the second position, Iran have played a match less than the teams above it. They have won 2 out of 4 games played till yet and have to play 4 matches more. The team represented in FIFA World Cup first time in 1978 and were capable of qualifying four times more. The team finished 14th in 1978 and this is their best performance till yet.

Australia

First appeared in 1974 in World Cup, the nation had manage to make this count to 5 times till yet. Australia is sitting at the first position in Group B, the team has manage to win 4 out of the 4 games they played. The team looks good and can make their place in the top 4 teams of the qualifiers.

South Korea

South Korea has participated 10 times after their debut in 1954 in the World Cup. In 2002 when they co-hosted the tournament along with Japan, they reached the semi-finals which is their best performance till yet. The team is currently at second place in their group, the team could manage to finish with topping the group as they are having four more matches to play. With players like Son, the team can manage to book their ticket to Qatar for 2022.

Iraq

With having a sole participation in World Cup 34 years ago in 1986, the team is again looking good enough to make it their dream of playing in the biggest saga of world football again. They are in a toughest group along with Iran and Bahrain and are currently leading the group. They also brought down Iran 2-1 by their hardcore performance. This could be a surprise package from Asia this time.

Could Indian Team make it to the dream of 135 million?

The fate of Indian team hasn’t been good enough to make them the probable teams to qualify for the World Cup. India is in a tough group along with Qatar and Oman. And it’s nothing less than a misfortune that we are at 4th place just behind Afghanistan and just ahead Bangladesh. The team has 3 matches left and need to win all three of them along with praying Oman losses all it’s remaining matches, then only we could proceed to the next round.

The realistic dream for the Igor Stimac’s boys should be to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup 2023 with finishing 3rd in the group and eventually qualifying for the 3rd round qualifiers for Asian Cup.

Writer – Shubham Singh (SpoCombat Admin)

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