The Premier League takes a break from the 13th of November through to the 26th of November to accommodate the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. It will be the first time the domestic football season in Europe has paused for an international tournament.
Here is a look at some of the Arsenal players who will feature in the competition and their chances of lifting the trophy at the end of it.
Thomas Partey (Ghana)
Two-time Ghana Player of the Year Thomas Partey is a very important player for his country. Often a lot of their hopes rest on his shoulders. The Gunners midfielder helped the Black Stars qualify for their first World Cup finals since 2014 thanks to success over Nigeria in their qualifying play-off tie, as the BBC reported.
⭐️ Thomas Partey's contribution for @Arsenal today
Completed 53/57 passes
11 x possession gained (most in match)
Won 10 duels – most by an Arsenal player in a PL game this season
3 dribbles completed
1 shot on target pic.twitter.com/5qBfTDBuOa
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) November 1, 2020
As the lowest-ranked team at the World Cup, Ghana will be underdogs this year. Partey is having an excellent season at Arsenal, as he showed in the victory over Brentford, and if he can bring that form into Qatar, they may be able to cause an upset or two.
Ghana have been drawn into the same group as Portugal, South Korea, and Uruguay. They will aim to make last the 16 and anything beyond that will be a bonus.
Gabriel Jesus (Brazil)
Summer signing Gabriel Jesus has brought goals to the Gunners since moving from Manchester City. If he continues at the rate he is going, he could enter the Arsenal history books as one of the best forwards to feature for the club.
With Brazil, Jesus is part of one of the strongest attacks in world football, as head coach Tite has numerous options up front. His performances this season may be enough to convince his manager that he should be one of the players in the starting XI in Qatar.
As of the 30th of September, the number one ranked team in the FIFA world rankings are the 9/2 favourites in Betway’s FIFA World Cup odds. That indicates there is a good chance Jesus will be able to help his country towards a sixth success in the competition.
Cedric Soares (Portugal)
Full-back Cedric Soares made a return to the Portugal squad in 2021. He will be hoping to be named in his country’s final squad for the 2022 World Cup. The 31-year-old knows all about major tournament success, as he won the UEFA European Championship in 2016.
— Cédric Soares (@OficialCedric) August 4, 2022
Cedric will be competing with the likes of Joao Cancelo and Diogo Dalot for a starting spot in Fernando Santos’ team. He is comfortable on either side of the pitch, so his versatility makes him a good player to have in a squad.
Portugal often reach the latter stages of major tournaments but they have yet to win the World Cup. Their best finish came in 1966 when they finished third.
Granit Xhaka (Switzerland)
With 106 caps for his country, Granit Xhaka is one of Switzerland’s all-time leading appearance makers. He is captain of his national team, and this World Cup will be the third he has featured in.
Switzerland have picked up some very good results in the UEFA Nations League this year. They have beaten Portugal, Spain, and the Czech Republic in consecutive games. As Eurosport noted, the latter was enough to prevent relegation from group A of the competition.
Xhaka’s side will fancy their chances of getting out of Group G along with Brazil. If they can get wins over Cameroon and Serbia, they should be able to reach the knockout stages once again.
Matt Turner (USA)
US international Matt Turner moved to Arsenal back in the summer transfer window from the New England Revolution. He has yet to get the chance to impress in the Premier League, but he has featured in the Europa League in the victories over FC Zurich and Bodo/Glimt.
Turner is the number one keeper’ with Team USA. He has played 20 times for his country, including during the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup where the Stars and Stripes lifted the trophy, beating Mexico in the final, as documented by ESPN.
The 2021 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year will be able to show Arsenal fans and the rest of the world what he is capable of at the World Cup. It is USA’s first appearance since 2014 and they will face England, Iran, and Wales in the group stages.
Good luck to all the Arsenal players who will feature in Qatar later this year. Hopefully, they have a great tournament and come back to the club fully fit for the second half of the domestic season.
I’m sure we’ll talk about the chances of the Arsenal players in the England squad another time….