Arsenal players are ready to win the World Cup – and there are quite a few going to Qatar
Every time the World Cup comes around, we get to enjoy watching Arsenal players compete for the coveted trophy and represent their country.
And this year is no different, with an expectation for the number of Gunners to hit double digits and surpass the number who played in the last tournament.
Who’s booked a ticket to Qatar?
The big news right now is around Bukayo Saka, who left the match against Nottingham Forest last weekend early with what seemed like a pretty serious injury at the time.
This may have caused many England fans’ hearts to miss a beat, but there are still a few weeks before players need to be match-ready in Qatar, so it’s pretty certain Saka will be back on the pitch well before the opening match against Iran, and before facing down his American team-mate Matt Turner later on in the group stages.
Speaking of that American teammate, Matt Turner may not be the first person on your mind when it comes to an Arsenal keeper this year, but the backup is very likely to be stopping shots for the USA, and is a pretty big factor for many sports betting sites in the US who are giving the US team a decent shot to make it out of the group stage.
Sticking with Group B and goalkeepers, Aaron Ramsdale has been a brick wall between the posts, but is overshadowed in Southgate’s mind by Jordan Pickford. While there is a strong chance he will travel with the team, unless something drastic changes, don’t expect to see a familiar face on the actual pitch.
In what may be the toughest group of the first round, Takehiro Tomiyasu will try to anchor Japan’s back line against the formidable Spanish and German teams in Group E.
Pulling a draw in what seems to be an easy group, defending champions France will almost certainly reserve a spot for William Saliba, but he will likely be on the bench for the majority of the tournament barring injuries.
Thomas Partey is ready to showcase his talent for Ghana again, and will certainly have a starting spot if things continue as they are, though the first match against Portugal will be a tough test.
His midfield partner, Granit Xhaka, is also a sure start for his country, but Switzerland will have their work cut out for them, especially if the following Gunners are all included in the Brazilian roster.
Gabriel Jesus has been a force this season, and even though he was omitted from recent international matches, there is a near certain chance he will be with the national team in November, and likely through much of December given their position as favourites.
Gabriel Magalhaes and Gabriel Martinelli are also both likely to make the cut, but the depth in the Brazilian squad makes it tough to say what their chances are of seeing time on the pitch this year.
Who’s watching with the rest of us?
As much as we would like every Arsenal player to compete at the World Cup, it just can’t happen. And with their nations failing to qualify, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Martin Odegaard, Kieran Tierney, and Mohamed Elneny will all be stuck watching their teammates play at the quadrennial tournament.
Similarly, Ben White has been omitted from the England squad at the moment, and could be stuck watching his fellow countrymen try and bring the trophy home, although injuries to other defenders may have given him some hope. He has been solid on the back line for the Gunners, and will surely be a candidate to make the plane.
On the whole, this should be a solid World Cup outing for some Gunners, with there being a strong chance of about ten players making it to Qatar.
While there are an unfortunate number of Arsenal players absent from the tournament who will need to work hard to stay in top form during the lengthy hiatus, the international break should be a good thing for the club.
With some strong results expected for a number of players, the World Cup could really help build on the momentum of the early season, and set the Gunners on a good path to stay at the top of the table, and make a run at winning the Premier League when it resumes.