In 2022, Qatar will host the next FIFA World Cup and it should be noted that draws for the qualifiers have already been carried out by zone.
As far as Africa is concerned, the Democratic Republic of Congo inherited Group J, one of the most balanced of the ten groups drawn, along with Benin, Tanzania and Madagascar. What are the Leopards’ chances of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup?
Leopards Are slightly favorites on paper
The DR Congo obtained its first participation in the World Football in 1974 under the name of Zaire. The country, ruled at the time by iconic politician Mobutu Sese Seko, was the third African nation to take part in the FIFA World Cup after Egypt (1934) and Morocco (1970).
To win a second participation, the Leopards of Christian Nsengi-Biembe will have to finish leader of their group. They are also favorites in this group, but must be careful of the two revelations of the last African Cup of Nations: Benin and Madagascar.
These different meetings will surely be covered by sports betting sites. The Ecureuils du Bénin and the Barea du Madagascar had finished among the 8 best nations of the competition. And it was the Malagasy, who had eliminated in the round of 16, Bakambu and his team.
It is therefore a revengeful Congolese team that will tackle their double confrontation against the team of Nicolas Dupuis. Tanzania is the weakest team in the group on paper. The DR Congo therefore leave with the favor of the predictions in this group which they should in principle dominate before the play-off round which will undoubtedly be with the big selections.
In terms of the composition of the teams in this group, the DRC still leaves with an advantage. Of course, it is true that Madagascar and Benin have players who are now more or less sided in Europe, but Congolese players are at considerable levels in Europe and in all positions.
The Congolese coach can count on elements like Joël Kiassumba (Servette FC / Switzerland), Chancel Mbemba Mankulu of FC Porto (Portugal), Fabrice Nsakala of Besiktas (Turkey) and Christian Luyindama of Fenerbahce (Turkey), Neeskens Kebano (Fulham FC / England), Gaël Kakuta (RC Lens / France), Jordan Botaka (La Gantoise / Belgium), Paul – José Mpoku (Al- Wadha, United Arab Emirates) and Cédric Bakambu (Beijing Guoan / China).
This handful of players forming the foreign legion of Congolese football is representative of a batch of expatriate talents comparatively superior to those of other countries in this group J.
World Cup 2022, Major Challenge for Christian N’sengi
If the CAN 2021 is the first mission of the current coach of the DRC, the 2022 World Cup is the next step. To ensure the post-Ibengue era, Christian N’sengi has in his head a small idea of the organization of the Leopards.
After a long experience with the Congolese U23, opinions are mixed on the real skills of the coach to supervise the squad A. He who recently obtained a Pro UEFA license. Christian N’sengi will however be able to count on the experience of the executives and the new talents of the selection.
If he manages to get the qualification, he would become the first coach to qualify the Leopards for the World Cup since 1974. A historic goal which must surely motivate the tactician in the exercise of his functions.
Due to the health crisis, the World Cup qualifying matches have experienced a slight delay. Initially scheduled to start in October, it will now be necessary to wait until June 2021 to witness the first clashes. A period that leaves enough time for the DRC coach to impregnate his paw in his group. The first day (against Benin) will start on May 31, 2021, followed on June 15, 2021 by the second day (against Madagascar).
The teams will have a bit of a break before continuing on August 30 and September 7 with days 3 and 4 (double confrontation against Tanzania). The group stages will end on October 12, 2021 with the sixth and final day (against Madagascar).
If the Leopards finish first in Group J, they will be able to afford a final play-off round in November 2021. After that, they will eventually be able to enjoy the satisfaction of a memorable qualification for the World Cup.