There are no more rehearsals – the World Cup is almost upon us. Here’s how all the finalists are looking as national team coaches prepare to name their squads…
These are the key dates for World Cup squads:
Friday, Oct. 21: Preliminary squad list (35-55 players) to be submitted
Monday, Nov. 14: Final list of 23-26 players to be submitted
World ranking: 44
Coach: Gustavo Alfaro
Last squad: 0-0 v Saudi Arabia; 0-0 v Japan
Hernan Galindez (Aucas), Moises Ramirez (Independiente del Valle), Alexander Dominguez (LDU Quito), Gonzalo Valle (Guayaquil City), Pervis Estupinan (Brighton), Angelo Preciado (Genk), Piero Hincapie (Bayer Leverkusen), Xavier Arreaga (Seattle Sounders), Diego Palacios (LAFC), Byron Castillo (Leon), Fernando Leon (Atletico San Luis), Jackson Porozo (Troyes), William Pacho (Antwerp), Carlos Gruezo (Augsburg), Angel Mena (Leon), Jhegson Mendez (LAFC), Gonzalo Plata (Real Valladolid), Romario Ibarra (Pachuca), Moises Caicedo (Brighton), Alan Franco (Talleres), Jose Cifuentes (LAFC), Jeremy Sarmiento (Brighton), Nilson Angulo (Anderlecht), Patrickson Delgado (Jong Ajax), Anthony Valencia (Antwerp), Enner Valencia (Fenerbahce), Michael Estrada (Cruz Azul), Djorkaeff Reasco (Newell’s Old Boys)
Robert Arboleda and Felix Torres missed the goalless stalemates with Saudi Arabia and Japan, with Sao Paulo centre-back Arboleda recovering from an ankle injury while Torres nursed a muscle strain. Premier League representation comes exclusively from Brighton.
World ranking: 8
Coach: Louis van Gaal
Last squad: 2-0 v Poland; 1-0 v Belgium
Andries Noppert (Heerenveen), Jasper Cillessen (NEC), Mark Flekken (Freiburg), Remko Pasveer (Ajax), Devyne Rensch (Ajax), Nathan Ake (Manchester City), Daley Blind (Ajax), Matthijs de Ligt (Bayern Munich), Stefan de Vrij (Inter), Denzel Dumfries (Inter), Tyrell Malacia (Manchester United), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Jurrien Timber (Ajax), Bruno Martins Indi (AZ), Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Marten de Roon (Atalanta), Teun Koopmeiners (Atalanta), Kenneth Taylor (Ajax), Steven Berghuis (Ajax), Steven Bergwijn (Ajax), Memphis Depay (Barcelona), Wout Weghorst (Besiktas), Cody Gakpo (PSV), Vincent Janssen (Royal Antwerp)
Van Gaal has a concern over his goalkeepers, with Feyenoord stopper Justin Bijlow, the former No.1, sweating on his place after being left out for the recent friendlies, though he hasn’t been written off by the head coach. Georginio Wijnaldum is set to miss out due to a leg fracture, while in attack, Donyell Malen, Arnaut Danjuma, Brian Brobbey and Javairo Dilroson are all hoping to catch Van Gaal’s eye before the World Cup squad is announced.
World ranking: 50
Coach: Felix Sanchez
Recent squad: 0-2 v Canada; 2-2 v Chile
Saad Al Sheeb (Al-Sadd), Yousef Hassan (Al-Gharafa), Meshaal Barsham (Al-Sadd), Ro-Ro (Al-Sadd), Abdelkarim Hassan (Al-Sadd), Tarek Salman (Al-Sadd), Musab Kheder (Al-Sadd), Homam Ahmed (Al-Gharafa), Bassam Al-Rawi (Al-Duhail), Boualem Khoukhi (Al-Sadd), Abdulaziz Hatem (Al-Rayyan), Mohammed Waad (Al-Sadd), Ali Assadalla (Al-Sadd), Karim Boudiaf (Al-Duhail), Assim Madibo (Al-Duhail), Abdullah Al-Ahrak (Al-Duhail), Akram Afif (Al-Sadd), Ahmed Alaaeldin (Al-Gharafa), Mohammed Muntari (Al-Duhail), Hassan Al-Haydos (Al-Sadd), Ismaeel Mohammad (Al-Duhail), Khalid Muneer (Al-Wakrah), Almoez Ali (Al-Duhail)
Mahamed Emad and Jassem Gaber received call-ups for the September international break in an otherwise settled squad for the hosts.
World ranking: 18
Coach: Aliou Cisse
Last squad: 2-0 v Bolivia; 1-1 v Iran
Edouard Mendy (Chelsea), Alfred Gomis (Rennes), Seny Dieng (QPR), Mory Diaw (Clermont), Kalidou Koulibaly (Chelsea), Pape Abou Cisse (Olympiacos), Fode Ballo-Toure (AC Milan), Noah Fadiga (Brest), Ismail Jakobs (Monaco), Formose Mendy (Amiens), Moussa Niakhate (Nottingham Forest), Abdou Diallo (RB Leipzig), Idrissa Gueye (Everton), Pathe Ciss (Rayo Vallecano), Cheikhou Kouyate (Nottingham Forest), Pape Gueye (Marseille), Krepin Diatta (Monaco), Nampalys Mendy (Leicester), Pape Matar Sarr (Tottenham), Mamadou Loum (Reading), Moustapha Name (Pafos), Sadio Mane (Bayern Munich), Boulaye Dia (Salernitana), Bamba Dieng (Marseille), Ismaila Sarr (Watford), Iliman Ndiaye (Sheffield United), Nicolas Jackson (Villarreal), Demba Seck (Torino)
AFCON champions Senegal look well-placed to thrive in Qatar, with Cisse in his seventh year as manager with an experienced squad, a third of whom play in the Champions League, already used to success. Cisse might be concerned over his Chelsea pair, however, with Mendy having lost his place in goal and Koulibaly making a slow adjustment to the Premier League.
World ranking: 5
Coach: Gareth Southgate
Latest squad: 0-1 v Italy; 3-3 v Germany
Nick Pope (Newcastle), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal), Dean Henderson (Nottingham Forest), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Conor Coady (Everton), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Declan Rice (West Ham), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Tammy Abraham (Roma), Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Ivan Toney (Brentford).
Kyle Walker is a doubt to make England’s World Cup squad after undergoing surgery on a groin injury while City team-mate Kalvin Phillips (shoulder) also faces a race against time. Reece James has to wear a knee brace for a month so he is considered a major doubt, which could potentially open the door to Liverpool man Joe Gomez. John Stones is at least back in action for Manchester City, though Harry Maguire really needs to play some football.
World ranking: 22
Coach: Carlos Queiroz
Latest squad: 1-0 v Uruguay; 1-1 v Senegal
Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis), Hossein Hosseini (Esteghlal), Amir Abedzadeh (Ponferradina), Payam Niazmand (Sepahan), Sadegh Moharrami (Dinamo Zagreb), Shojae Khalilzadeh (Al-Ahli), Milad Mohammadi (AEK Athens), Morteza Pouraliganji (Persepolis), Hossein Kanaanizadegan (Al-Ahli), Saleh Hardani (Esteghlal), Majid Hosseini (Kayserispor), Omid Noorafkan (Sepahan), Ramin Rezaeian (Sepahan), Abolfazl Jalali (Esteghlal), Ehsan Hajsafi (AEK Athens), Saeid Ezatolahi (Vejle), Omid Ebrahimi (Al-Wakrah), Ahmad Nourollahi (Shabab Al-Ahli), Milad Sarlak (Persepolis), Saman Ghoddos (Brentford), Vahid Amiri (Persepolis), Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Feyenoord), Mehdi Taremi (Porto), Karim Ansarifard (Omonia), Mehdi Torabi (Persepolis), Ali Gholizadeh (Charleroi), Sardar Azmoun (Bayer Leverkusen)
Iran are the underdogs of Group B but, ranked 20th in the world, they are only one place below Wales and heading to their third-successive finals. Sixteen of the players in their most recent squad played in Russia in 2018. The players recently voiced their support for protests over the death of Mahsa Amini while she was being held by ‘morality police’. It remains to be seen if the squad will continue those protests in Qatar.
World ranking: 16
Coach: Gregg Berhalter
Latest squad: 0-2 Japan; 0-0 v Saudi Arabia
Sean Johnson (New York City FC), Ethan Horvath (Luton Town), Matt Turner (Arsenal), DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic), Sergino Dest (AC Milan), Chris Richards (Crystal Palace), Sam Vines (Antwerp), Reggie Cannon (Boavista), Joe Scally (Borussia Monchengladbach), Tyler Adams (Leeds United), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo), Kellyn Acosta (LAFC), Weston McKennie (Juventus), Malik Tillman (Rangers), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United), Josh Sargent (Norwich), Jesus Ferreira (Dallas), Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Ricardo Pepi (Groningen), Paul Arriola (Dallas)
Zach Steffen missed the recent friendlies, with Arsenal keeper Matt Turner standing in. Boro loanee Steffen will return to the squad for Qatar but the No.1 position appears to be up for grabs. Union Berlin’s Jordan Pefok also missed the friendlies but if he maintains his Bundesliga form, Berhalter will be hard pushed to leave him out when the finals squad is announced on November 9. Injury-wise, Daryl Dike has a thigh thing while Miles Robinson has already been ruled out.
World ranking: 19
Coach: Rob Page
Latest squad: 1-2 v Belgium; 0-1 v Poland
Wayne Hennessey (Nottingham Forest), Danny Ward (Leicester), Tom King (Salford City), Ben Davies (Tottenham), Joe Rodon (Rennes), Ben Cabango (Swansea) , Chris Mepham (Bournemouth), Chris Gunter (AFC Wimbledon), Rhys Norrington-Davies (Sheffield United), Connor Roberts (Burnley), Neco Williams (Nottingham Forest), Joe Allen (Swansea City), Joe Morrell (Portsmouth), Ethan Amapdu (Spezia), Matthew Smith (MK Dons), Dylan Levitt (Dundee United), Rabbi Matondo (Rangers), Sorba Thomas (Huddersfield), Rubin Colwill (Cardiff City), Jonny Williams (Swindon), Wes Byrns (Ipswich), Gareth Bale (LAFC), Daniel James (Fulham), Luke Harris (Fulham), Mark Harris (Cardiff), Tyler Roberts (QPR), Kieffer Moore (Bournemouth), Brennan Johnson (Nottingham Forest)
Joe Allen has not played for Swansea in more than a month after going down with a hamstring problem, while Tom Lawrence has a knee injury that has kept him out of Rangers action since August. The good news is that Aaron Ramsey is at least playing (sparingly) for Nice while Gareth Bale occasionally hauls himself off the bench in LA.
World ranking: 3
Coach: Lionel Scaloni
Latest squad: 3-0 v Honduras; 3-0 v Jamaica
Franco Armani (River Plate), Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa), Juan Musso (Atalanta), Geronimo Rulli (Villarreal), Nahuel Molina (Atletico Madrid), Gonzalo Montiel (Sevilla), German Pezzella (Real Betis), Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica), Facundo Medina (Lens), Nehuen Perez (Udinese), Cristian Romero (Tottenham), Lisandro Martinez (Manchester United), Nicolas Tagliafico (Lyon), Marcos Acuna (Sevilla), Lucas Martinez Quarta (Fiorentina), Guido Rodriguez (Real Betis), Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid), Exequiel Palacios (Bayer Leverkusen), Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton), Giovani Lo Celso (Villarreal), Enzo Fernandez (Benfica), Thiago Almada (Atlanta United), Alejandro Gomez (Sevilla), Angel Di Maria (Juventus), Leandro Paredes (Juventus), Lionel Messi (PSG), Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina), Angel Correa (Atletico Madrid), Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan), Paulo Dybala (Roma), Julian Alvarez (Manchester City), Joaquin Correa (Inter Milan)
Lisandro Martinez is pushing Nicolas Otamendi and Cristian Romero for their starting spots at Lionel Messi’s final World Cup. Julian Alvarez and Alexis MacAllister are set to get the nod after featuring in the recent friendlies, but Emi Buendia is likely to miss out.
Paulo Dybala has suffered a serious thigh injury that is likely to keep him out of the tournament, while Angel Di Maria could return in time from his own thigh problem.
World ranking: 13
Coach: Gerardo Martino
Latest squad: 1-0 v Peru; 2-3 v Colombia
Alfredo Talavera (Juarez), Rodolfo Cota (Leon), Guillermo Ochoa (America), Nestor Araujo (America), Cesar Montes (Monterrey), Johan Vasquez (Cremonese), Jorge Sanchez (Ajax), Hector Moreno (Monterrey), Jevin Alvarez (Pachuca), Gerardo Arteaga (Genk), Jesus Gallardo (Monterrey), Jesus Alberto Angulo (UANL), Andres Guardado (Betis), Hector Herrera (Houston Dynamo), Edson Alvarez (Ajax), Orbelin Pineda (AEK Athens), Luis Romo (Monterrey), Carlos Rodriguez (Cruz Azul), Diego Lainez (Braga), Erick Gutierrez (PSV), Uriel Antuna (Cruz Azul), Roberto Alvarado (Guadalajara), Bernando Beltran (Guadalajara), Erick Sanchez (Pachuca), Luis Chavez (Pachuca), Raul Jimenez (Wolves), Alexis Vega (Guadalajara), Rogelio Funes Mori (Monterrey), Santiago Gimenez (Feyenoord), Henry Martin (America), Hirving Lozano (Napoli)
Mexico’s biggest concerns are in attack, with Raul Jimenez struggling to stay fit, while Sevilla’s Jesus Corona is an even bigger doubt. This will be El Tri’s 17th appearance at the finals – only Brazil, Germany, Italy and Argentina have participated in more.
World ranking: 26
Coach: Czesław Michniewicz
Latest squad: 0-2 v Netherlands; 1-0 v Wales
Wojciech Szczęsny (Juventus), Łukasz Skorupski (Bologna), Bartłomiej Drągowski (Spezia), Radosław Majecki (Cercle Brugge), Kamil Glik (Benevento), Bartosz Bereszyński (Sampdoria), Jan Bednarek (Aston Villa), Tomasz Kędziora (Dynamo Kyiv), Arkadiusz Reca (Spezia), Paweł Dawidowicz (Hellas Verona), Robert Gumny (Augsburg), Jakub Kiwior (Spezia), Mateusz Wieteska (Clermont), Grzegorz Krychowiak (Al-Shabab), Kamil Grosicki (Pogoń Szczecin), Piotr Zieliński (Napoli), Karol Linetty (Torino), Mateusz Klich (Leeds United), Przemysław Frankowski (Lens), Sebastian Szymański (Feyenoord), Nicola Zalewski (Roma), Szymon Żurkowski (Fiorentina), Jakub Kamiński (Wolfsburg), Mateusz Łęgowski (Pogoń Szczecin), Jakub Piotrowski (Ludogorets Razgrad), Michał Skóraś (Lech Poznań), Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona), Arkadiusz Milik (Juventus), Krzysztof Piątek (Salernitana), Karol Świderski (Charlotte)
Aston Villa defender Matty Cash missed the friendlies against Netherlands and Wales due to a hamstring injury but the full-back is set to return in plenty of time for the World Cup finals. Robert Lewandowski is on fire for Barcelona with Michniewicz hoping the centre-forward maintains his fitness for Qatar.
World ranking: 51
Coach: Hervé Renard
Latest squad: 0-0 v Ecuador; 0-0 v USA
Mohammed Al-Owais (Al-Hilal), Fawaz Al-Qarni (Al-Shabab), Mohammed Al Rubaie (Al-Ahli), Nawaf Al-Aqidi (Al-Nassr), Hassan Tambakti (Al-Shabab), Abdullah Madu (Al-Nassr), Ahmed Bamsaud (Al-Ittihad), Saud Abdulhamid (Al-Hilal), Yasser Al-Shahrani (Al-Hilal), Abdulelah Al-Amri (Al-Nassr), Ali Al-Bulaihi (Al-Hilal), Sultan Al-Ghanam (Al-Nassr), Salman Al-Faraj (Al-Hilal), Hattan Bahebri (Al-Shabab), Salem Al-Dawsari (Al-Hilal), Nawaf Al-Abed (Al-Shabab), Ali Al-Hassan (Al-Nassr), Sami Al-Najei (Al-Nassr), Nasser Al-Dawsari (Al-Hilal), Awad Al-Nashri (Al-Ittihad), Riyadh Sharahili (Abha), Mohamed Kanno (Al-Hilal), Fahad Al-Muwallad (Al-Shabab), Firas al-Buraikan (Al-Fateh), Haroune Camara (Al-Ittihad), Haitham Asiri (Al-Ahli)
Saudi Arabia, the second-lowest ranked team at the tournament, have been drawn in a desperately difficult group with Argentina, Mexico and Poland. Renard looks set to pick an entirely domestic-based squad for the World Cup finals, with Al-Hilal leading the way with eight representatives.
World ranking: 38
Coach: Graham Arnold
Latest squad: 1-0, 2-0 v New Zealand
Mat Ryan (Copenhagen), Andrew Redmayne (Sydney FC), Mitchell Langerak (Nagoya Grampus), Milos Degenek (Columbus Crew), Fran Karacic (Brescia), Nathanial Atkinson (Hearts), Bailey Wright (Sunderland), Aziz Behich (Dundee United), Trent Sainsbury (Al-Wakrah), Ryan Strain (St Mirren), Harrison Delbridge (Incheon United), Joel King (OB), Thomas Deng (Albirex Niigata), Denis Genreau (Toulouse), Ajdin Hrustic (Verona), Aaron Mooy (Celtic), Riley McGree (Middlesbrough), Jackson Irvine (St. Pauli), Connor Metcalfe (St. Pauli), Keanu Baccus (St Mirren), Cameron Devlin (Hearts), Tyrese Francois (Gorica), Martin Boyle (Hibernian), Mathew Leckie (Melbourne City), Jamie Maclaren (Melbourne City), Awer Mabil (Cadiz), Mitchell Duke (Fagiano Okayama), Marco Tilio (Melbourne City), Jason Cummings (Central Coast Mariners), Garang Kuol (Central Coast Mariners), Adam Taggart (Cerezo Osaka)
Newcastle new boy Kuol is likely to feature for the Socceroos before moving to Tyneside in January after earning his first call-up for the friendlies against New Zealand. Keeper Langerak came out of international retirement just in time for the final friendlies and the finals in Qatar.
World ranking: 10
Coach: Kasper Hjulmand
Latest squad: 1-2 v Croatia; 2-0 v France
Kasper Schmeichel (Nice), Frederik Ronnow (Union Berlin), Oliver Christensen (Hertha Berlin), Simon Kjaer (AC Milan), Joachim Andersen (Crystal Palace), Joakim Maehle (Atalanta), Andreas Christensen (Barcelona), Rasmus Kristensen (Leeds United), Jens Stryger Larsen (Trabzonspor), Victor Nelsson (Galatasaray), Alexander Bah (Benfica), Thomas Delaney (Sevilla), Mathias Jensen (Brentford), Christian Eriksen (Manchester United), Daniel Wass (Brondby), Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Tottenham), Philip Billing (Bournemouth), Casper Nielsen (Club Brugge), Robert Skov (Hoffenheim), Andreas Skov Olsen (Club Brugge), Jesper Lindstrom (Eintracht Frankfurt), Rasmus Hojlund (Atalanta), Andreas Cornelius (Copenhagen), Martin Braithwaite (Espanyol), Kasper Dolberg (Sevilla), Mikkel Damsgaard (Brentford)
Schmeichel will be in the sticks despite a ropey start to his Nice career but veteran Yussuf Poulsen is set to miss out after losing his place at RB Leipzig to Timo Werner. Martin Braithwaite got away from Barcelona just in time to ensure he didn’t suffer a similar fate.
World ranking: 4
Coach: Didier Deschamps
Latest squad: 2-0 Austria; 0-2 v Denmark
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Alphonse Areola (West Ham), Mike Maignan (AC Milan), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), Raphael Varane (Manchester United), Theo Hernandez (AC Milan), Benoit Badiashile (Monaco), Ferland Mendy (Real Madrid), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich), Jules Kounde (Barcelona), William Saliba (Arsenal), Jonathan Clauss (Marseille), Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid), Youssouf Fofana (Monaco), Matteo Guendouzi (Marseille), Aurelien Tchouameni (Real Madrid), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Olivier Giroud (AC Milan), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Randal Kolo Muani (Eintracht Frankfurt), Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig)
Wesley Fofana fancied a late dash for the plane but a knee injury that is set to keep him out for a month deprives the Chelsea defender of the chance to catch Deschamps’ eye. The France boss has an embarrassment of riches to choose from, with Paul Pogba set to return just in time to audition for his role in the holders’ squad. N’Golo Kante, on the other hand, will not be back from a hamstring issue, while Boubacar Kamara has long since been ruled out. There is more hope on Lucas Hernandez, who is expected to recover from a groin issue. Raphael Varane has picked up a hamstring injury that will keep him out until – if not for – the World Cup.
World ranking: 30
Coach: Jalel Kadri
Latest squad: 1-0 v Comoros; 1-5 v Brazil
Mohamed Sedki Debchi (Esperance de Tunis), Aymen Dahmen (CS Sfaxien), Bechir Ben Said (US Monastir), Bilel Ifa (Kuwait SC), Montassar Talbi (Lorient), Nader Ghandri (Club Africain), Omar Rekik (Sparta Rotterdam), Mortadha Ben Ouanes (Kasimpasa), Ali Maaloul (Al Ahly), Mohamed Drager (Luzern), Rami Kaib (Heerenveen), Hamza Mathlouthi (Zamalek), Ali Abdi (Caen), Dylan Bronn (Salernitana), Saif-Eddine Khaoui (Clermont), Anis Ben Slimane (Brondby), Ghailene Chaalali (Esperance de Tunis), Hannibal Mejbri (Birmingham City), Ferjani Sassi (Al-Duhail), Aissa Laidouni (Ferencvaros), Chaim El Djebali (Lyon), Ellyes Skhiri (Koln), Sayfallah Ltaief (Basel), Seifeddine Jaziri (Zamalek), Youssef Msakni (Al-Arabi), Taha Yassine Khenissi (Kuwait SC), Naim Sliti (Al-Ettifaq), Issam Jebali (OB), Wahbi Khazri (Montpellier)
Manchester United youngster Hannibal, currently on loan at Birmingham, is the only English-based player in Kadri’s crew for the finals. Captain Msakni plies his trade in Qatar, while Mohamed Ali Yacoubi, Mohamed Amine Ben Amor and Firas Chaouat are all set to miss out.
World ranking: 31
Coach: Luis Fernando Suárez
Latest squad: 2-2 v South Korea; 2-1 v Uzbekistan
Esteban Alvarado (Herediano), Aaron Cruz (Deportivo Saprissa), Patrick Sequeira (Lugo), Juan Pablo Vargas (Millonarios), Keysher Fuller (Herediano), Oscar Duarte (Al-Wehda), Bryan Oviedo (Real Salt Lake), Francisco Calvo (Konyaspor), Kendall Watson (Deportivo Saprissa), Carlos Martinez (San Carlos), Carlos Mora (Alajuelense), Celso Borges (Alajuelense), Jewison Bennette (Sunderland), Bryan Ruiz (Alajuelense), Daniel Chacon (Cartagines), Anthony Hernandez, (Puntarenas), Douglas Lopez (Santos de Guapiles), Aaron Suarez (Alajuelense), Gerson Torres (Herediano), Orlando Galo (Herediano), Roan Wilson (Grecia), Alvaro Zamora (Deportivo Saprissa), Brandon Aguilera (AD Guanacasteca), Anthony Contreras (Herediano), Johan Venegas (Alajuelense), Joel Campbell (Leon)
Sunderland’s Bennette is the only English-based player in Los Ticos’ squad for a tournament in which they have been handed a desperately touch draw alongside the 2010 and 2014 champions. Former Arsenal striker Campbell, only just turned 30, is on 118 caps.
World ranking: 11
Coach: Hansi Flick
Latest squad: 0-1 v Hungary; 3-3 v England
Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Thilo Kehrer (West Ham), Niklas Sule (Borussia Dortmund), Benjamin Henrichs (RB Leipzig), David Raum (RB Leipzig), Antonio Rudiger (Real Madrid), Nico Schlotterbeck (Borussia Dortmund), Matthias Ginter (Freiburg), Robin Gosens (Inter Milan), Armel Bella-Kotchap (Southampton), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Jonas Hofmann (Borussia Monchengladbach), Julian Brandt (Borussia Dortmund), Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Kai Havertz (Chelsea), Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich), Lukas Nmecha (Wolfsburg), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig), Leroy Sane (Bayern Munich), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich)
Germany can’t do much worse than the 2018 finals when they failed to make it out of the group, especially while Flick has such a strong squad. There are doubts over Leroy Sane (thigh) and Armel Bella-Kotchap (shoulder) but the good news – for them at least – is that Marco Reus has recovered from his ankle injury.
World ranking: 24
Coach: Hajime Moriyasu
Latest squad: 0-0 v Ecuador; 2-0 v USA
Eiji Kawashima (Strasbourg), Kosei Tani (Shonan Bellmare), Shuichi Gonda (Shimizu S-Pulse), Daniel Schmidt (Sint-Truiden), Takehiro Tomiyasu (Arsenal), Shogo Taniguchi (Kawasaki Frontale), Yuto Nagatomo (FC Tokyo), Miki Yamane (Kawasaki Frontale), Ayumu Seko (Grasshoppers), Yuta Nakayama (Huddersfield Town), Maya Yoshida (Schalke), Hiroki Sakai (Urawa Red Diamonds), Hiroki Ito (Stuttgart), Gaku Shibasaki (Leganes), Genki Haraguchi (Union Berlin), Takumi Minamino (Monaco), Takefusa Kubo (Real Sociedad), Hidemasa Morita (Sporting Lisbon), Wataru Endo (Stuttgart), Junya Ito (Reims), Ao Tanaka (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Kaoru Mitoma (Brighton), Daichi Kamada (Eintracht Frankfurt), Ritsu Doan (Freiburg), Reo Hatate (Celtic), Yuki Soma (Nagoya Grampus), Kyogo Furuhashi (Celtic), Ayase Ueda (Cercle Brugge), Shuto Machino (Shonan Bellmare), Daizen Maeda (Celtic)
Celtic ought to have three representatives in Japan’s World Cup squad, with Kyogo Furuhashi and Daizen Maeda back in the reckoning after missing the March qualifiers. Arsenal’s Tomiyasu is one of two other British-based players.
World ranking: 7
Coach: Luis Enrique
Latest squad: 1-2 Switzerland; 1-0 Portugal
Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao), Robert Sanchez (Brighton), David Raya (Brentford), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Diego Llorente (Leeds), Eric Garcia (Barcelona), Pau Torres (Villarreal), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Jose Luis Gaya (Valencia), Hugo Guillamon (Valencia), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Rodri (Manchester City), Gavi (Barcelona), Pedri (Barcelona), Carlos Soler (PSG), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid), Pablo Sarabia (PSG), Nico Williams (Athletic Bilbao), Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid), Ferran Torres (Barcelona), Yeremy Pino (Villarreal), Borja Iglesias (Real Betis)
“I don’t have a clear list,” said Enrique after last month’s Nations League games. But David De Gea is likely to miss out on Qatar, with Brighton’s Sanchez and Brentford’s Raya preferred. Thiago Alcantara, Marc Cucurella, Sergio Ramos and Ansu Fatti also look set to be squeezed out.
World ranking: 2
Coach: Roberto Martínez
Latest squad: 0-1 v Netherlands; 2-1 v Wales
Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg), Simon Mignolet (Club Brugge), Matz Sels (Racing Strasbourg), Dedryck Boyata (Club Brugge), Timothy Castagne (Leicester), Wout Faes (Leicester), Thomas Meunier (Borussia Dortmund), Arthur Theate (Rennes), Jan Vertonghen (Anderlecht), Toby Alderweireld (Antwerp), Jason Denayer (Al-Ahli), Brandon Mechele (Club Brugge), Zeno Debast (Anderlecht), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Charles De Ketelaere (AC Milan), Leander Dendocker (Aston Villa), Eden Hazard (Real Madrid), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Dortmund), Alexis Saelemaekers (AC Milan), Amadou Onana (Everton), Hans Vanaken (Club Brugge), Axel Witsel (Atletico Madrid), Youri Tielemans (Leicester), Leandro Trossard (Brighton), Dries Mertens (Galatasaray), Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid), Dodi Lukebakio (Hertha Berlin), Lois Openda (Lens), Michy Batshuayi (Fenerbahce)
The Red Devils landed a cushy-looking draw as they look to better their third-place finish in 2018. Martinez has a number of young players coming through, Everton’s Onana among them, but Belgium look set to retain an experienced first XI, while a nation prays for the continued fitness of De Bruyne.
World ranking: 41
Coach: John Herdman
Latest squad: 2-0 Uruguay; 2-0 v Qatar
Dayne St. Clair (Minnesota United), Maxime Crepeau (LAFC), Milan Borjan (Red Star Belgrade), Alistair Johnston (Montreal), Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich), Sam Adekugbe (Hatayspor), Kamal Miller (Montreal), Derek Cornelius (Panetolikos), Richie Laryea (Toronto FC), Scott Kennedy (Jahn Regensburg), Joel Waterman (Montreal), Steven Vitoria (Chaves), Samuel Piette (Montreal), Ismael Kone (Montreal), Stephen Eustaquio (Porto), Mark-Anthony Kaye (Toronto FC), Jonathan Osorio (Toronto FC), Lucas Cavallini (Vancouver Whitecaps), Junior Hoilett (Reading), Tajon Buchanan (Club Brugge), Theo Corbeanu (Blackpool), Charles-Andreas Brym (FC Eindhoven), Ike Ugbo (Troyes), Luca Koleosho (Espanyol), Cyle Larin (Club Brugge), Liam Millar (Basel), Jonathan David (Lille)
Herdman’s biggest concern, one of the things “keeping him awake at night”, is the fitness of captain Atiba Hutchinson, Canada’s most-capped player, who missed the friendlies due to a bone bruise suffered in pre-season with Besiktas. Toronto defender Doneil Henry and St. Johnstone’s David Wotherspoon also sat out the games against Uruguay and Qatar.
World ranking: 12
Coach: Zlatko Dalic
Latest squad: 3-1 v Austria; 2-1 v Denmark
Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Lovre Kalinic (Hajduk Split), Ivica Ivusic (Osijek), Josip Stanisic (Bayern Munich), Josip Sutalo (Dinamo Zagreb), Martin Erlic (Sassuolo), Josko Gvardiol (RB Leipzig), Domagoj Vida (AEK Athens), Dejan Lovren (Zenit), Josip Juranovic (Celtic), Borna Barisic (Rangers), Borna Sosa (Stuttgart), Lovro Majer (Rennes), Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan), Nikola Vlasic (Torino), Luka Sucic (Red Bull Salzburg), Mario Pasalic (Atalanta), Ivan Perisic (Tottenham), Bruno Petkovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Marko Livaja (Hajduk Split), Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim), Ante Budimir (Osasuna), Mislav Orsic (Dinamo Zagreb)
Dalic is likely to pick a familiar-looking XI, with Modric, Kovacic, Brozovic, Perisic and Lovren all still key players for the 2018 runners-up. Kovacic and Perisic are likely to be joined by Old Firm rivals Barisic and Juranovic as British-based representatives. They await news on Marcelo Brozovic and his hamstring.
World ranking: 22
Coach: Walid Regragui
Latest squad: 0-0 v Paraguay; 2-0 v Chile
Yassine Bounou (Sevilla), Munir El Kajoui (Al Wehda), Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti (Wydad Casablanca), Anas Zniti (Raja CA), Achraf Hakimi (PSG), Noussair Mazraoui (Bayern Munich), Ganza Ek Niyssaiyu (RS Berkane), Romain Saiss (Besiktas), Achraf Dari (Brest), Badr Benoun (Qatar SC), Yahia Attiyat Allah (Wydad Casablanca), Jawad El Yamiq (Real Valladolid), Samy Mmaee (Ferencvaros), Younes Belhanda (Adana Demirspor), Sofyan Amrabat (Fiorentina), Azzedine Ounahi (Angers), Abdelhamid Sabiri (Sampdoria), Ilias Chair (QPR), Selim Amallah (Standard Liege), Yahya Jabrane (Wydad Casablanca), Amine Harit (Marseille), Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea), Munir El Haddadi (Getafe), Zakaria Aboukhlal (Toulouse), Ayoub El Kaabi (Hatayspor), Walid Cheddira (Bari), Soufiane Rahimi (Al-Ain), Sofiane Boufal (Angers), Youssef En-Nesyri (Sevilla), Ryan Mmaee (Ferencvaros), Abde Ezzalzouli (Osasuna)
The second-best team in Africa, according to FIFA rankings, will face two of 2018 semi-finalists in Qatar. Morocco look strong in the full-back areas, with Mazraoui and Hakimi, while Regragui has plenty of options up front to supplement a forward line likely to consist of Ziyech, Boufal and En-Nesyri.
World ranking: 1
Latest squad: 3-0 v Ghana; 5-1 v Tunisia
Alisson Becker (Liverpool), Ederson (Manchester City), Weverton (Palmeiras), Thiago Silva (Chelsea), Marquinhos (PSG), Danilo (Juventus), Alex Telles (Manchester United), Alex Sandro (Juventus), Eder Militao (Real Madrid), Bremer (Juventus), Roger Ibanez (Roma), Bruno Guimarães (Newcastle), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Lucas Paqueta (Lyon), Fabinho (Liverpool), Fred (Manchester United), Everton Ribeiro (Flamengo), Neymar (PSG), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid), Antony (Manchester United), Richarlison (Tottenham), Raphinha (Barcelona), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Matheus Cunha (Atletico Madrid), Pedro (Flamengo)
Tite teased us all with his squad for the recent friendlies, which was missing Arsenal trio Gabriels Jesus, Magalhaes and Martinelli. Jesus is likely to on the plane to Qatar but Martinelli is sweating on his place, despite his contribution to the Gunners’ fine start. There was a panic about the fitness of Richarlison but that was dismissed by Antonio Conte this week.
World ranking: 43
Coach: Rigobert Song
Latest squad: 0-1 v South Korea; 0-2 v Uzbekistan
Simon Ngapandouetnbu (Marseille), Devis Epassy (Abha), Andre Onana (Inter Milan), Nicolas Nkoulou (Aris), Enzo Ebosse (Udinese), Oumar Gonzalez (Ajaccio), Darlin Yongwa (Lorient), Nouhou Tolo (Seattle Sounders), Olivier Mbaizo (Philadelphia Union), Collins Fai (Al-Tai), Jean-Charles Castelletto (Nantes), Christopher Wooh (Rennes), Georges Mandjeck (Nea Salamis), Jean Onana (Lens), Gael Ondoua (Hannover), Samuel Gouet (Mechelen), Pierre Kunde (Olympiacos), Martin Hongla (Hellas Verona), Olivier Ntcham (Swansea), Leandre Tawamba (Al-Taawoun), Georges-Kevin Nkoudou (Besiktas), Vincent Aboubakar (Al-Nassr), Bryan Mbeumo (Brentford), Jean-Pierre Nsame (Young Boys), Karl Toko Ekambi (Lyon), Moumi Ngamaleu (Dynamo Moscow)
Brentford forward Mbeumo switched allegiance from France to the Indomitable Lions in August in time to make the squad for the September friendlies and the World Cup finals. Mbeumo will be scrapping with Ekambi, Choupo-Moting and Aboubakar for a starting role in Song’s side.
: Dragan StojkovićLatest squad: 4-1 Sweden; 2-0 Norway
Marko Dmitrovic (Sevilla), Vanja Milinkovic-Savic (Torino), Marko Ilic (Kortrijk), Stefan Mitrovic (Getafe), Filip Mladenovic (Legia Warsaw), Strahinja Pavlovic (Salzburg), Milos Veljkovic (Werder Bremen), Aleksa Terzic (Fiorentina), Erhan Masovic (Bochum), Strahinja Erakovic (Red Star Belgrade), Srdan Babic (Almeria), Dusan Tadic (Ajax), Nemanja Gudelj (Sevilla), Filip Kostic (Juventus), Nemanja Maksimovic (Getafe), Filip Duricic (Sampdoria), Nemanja Radonjic (Torino), Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio), Sasa Lukic (Torino), Andrija Zivkovic (PAOK), Stefan Mitrovic (Red Star Belgrade), Uros Racic (Braga), Ivan Ilic (Hellas Verona), Darko Lazovic (Hellas Verona), Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham), Luka Jovic (Fiorentina), Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus)
Serbia look primed to surprise a few people in Qatar. Stojkovic’s side were superb in their Nations League wins last month, with Mitrovic taking his Premier League form to the international stage by scoring a hat-trick against Sweden. His and Vlahovic’s firepower will give Serbia a great chance to get through the group.
World ranking: 15
Coach: Murat Yakin
Latest squad: 2-1 v Czech Republic; 1-2 v Spain
Yann Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach), Yvon Mvogo (Lorient), Jonas Omlin (Montpellier), Kevin Mbabu (Fulham), Silvan Widmer (Mainz), Nico Elvedi (Borussia Monchengladbach), Manuel Akanji (Manchester City), Ricardo Rodriguez (Torino), Eray Comert (Valencia), Fabian Schar (Newcastle), Fabian Frei (Basel), Remo Freuler (Nottingham Forest), Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), Renato Steffen (Lugano), Denis Zakaria (Chelsea), Djibril Sow (Eintracht Frankfurt), Michel Aebischer (Bologna), Xherdan Shaqiri (Chicago Fire), Ardon Jashari (Luzern), Breel Embolo (Monaco), Cedric Itten (Young Boys), Dan Ndoye (Basel), Ruben Vargas (Augsburg), Haris Seferovic (Galatasaray)
The third matchday meeting between Serbia and Switzerland could be vital in deciding who joins Brazil in the knockout stages. The Swiss have plenty of experience, with Shaqiri and Xhaka both in possession of over 100 caps, while Embolo is expected to be the key man in attack.
World ranking: 61
Coach: Otto Addo
Latest squad: 0-3 v Brazil; 1-0 v Nicaragua
Richard Ofori (Orlando Pirates), Joe Wollacott (Swindon), Abdul Manaf Nurudeen (Eupen), Denis Odoi (Club Brugge), Tariq Lamptey (Brighton), Alidu Seidu (Clermont), Joseph Aidoo (Celta Vigo), Gideon Mensah (Bordeaux), Daniel Amartey (Leicester), Alexander Djiku (Strasbourg), Abdul-Rahman Baba (Reading), Mohammed Salisu (Southampton), Stephan Ambrosius (Karlsruher), Thomas Partey (Arsenal), Iddrisu Baba (Real Mallorca), Elisha Owusu (Gent), Daniel-Kofi Kyereh (St Pauli), Mohammed Kudus (Ajax), Andre Ayew (Al Saad), Osman Bukari (Nantes), Kamaldeen Sulemana (Rennes), Daniel Afriyie Barnieh (Hearts of Oak), Ransford-Yeboah Konigsdorffer (Hamburg), Antoine Semenyo (Bristol City), Abdul Fatawu Issahaku (Sporting CP), Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace), Felix Afena-Gyan (Roma), Inaki Williams (Athletic Bilbao), Benjamin Tetteh (Hull)
Ghana, the lowest-ranked team in Qatar, will boast plenty of Premier League and EFL representation but it was brought up in congress that the Black Stars ought to still be working on convincing Callum Hudson-Odoi and Jeffrey Schlupp to represent them in Qatar.
World ranking: 9
Coach: Fernando Santos
Latest squad: 4-0 v Czech Republic; 0-1 v Spain
Diogo Costa (Porto), Rui Patrício (Roma), Jose Sa (Wolves), Joao Cancelo (Manchester City), Diogo Dalot (Manchester United), Nuno Mendes (PSG), Ruben Dias (Manchester City), Tiago Djalo (Lille), Pepe (Porto), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund), Danilo Pereira (PSG), Joao Palhinha (Fulham), Matheus Nunes (Wolves), William Carvalho (Real Betis), Ruben Neves (Wolves), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Joao Mario (Benfica), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Vitinha (PSG), Joao Felix (Atlético Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Diogo Jota (Liverpool), Pedro Neto (Wolves), Rafa Silva (Benfica), Rafael Leao (AC Milan), Ricardo Horta (Braga)
Santos made the call to leave Joao Moutinho out of the September Nations League games, while Renato Sanches, Pedro Goncalves, Nelson Semedo and Fabio Carvalho are all hoping to be heading to Qatar. Diogo Jota has now been ruled out with a calf injury, along with Wolves forward Pedro Neto, while Pepe and Nuno Mendes are both in a race against time.
World ranking: 28
Coach: Paulo Bento
Latest squad: 1-0 v Cameroon; 2-2 v Costa Rica
Kim Seung-gyu (Al-Shabab), Jo Hyeon-woo (Ulsan Hyundai), Song Bum-keun (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Kim Jin-su (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Hong Chul (Daegu FC), Kim Moon-hwan (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Kim Young-gwon (Ulsan Hyundai), Kwon Kyung-won (Gamba Osaka), Kim Tae-hwan (Ulsan Hyundai), Cho Yu-min (Daejon Hana Citizen), Kim Min-jae (Napoli), Yoon Jong-gyu (FC Seoul), Jung Woo-young (Al-Sadd), Lee Jae-sung (Mainz), Hwang In-beom (Olympiacos), Na Sang-ho (FC Seoul), Paik Seung-ho (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Hwang Hee-chan (Wolves), Kwon Chang-hoon (Gimcheon Sangmu), Paik Seung-ho (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Son Jun-ho (Shandong Taishan), Jeong Woo-yeong (Freiburg), Lee Kang-in (Mallorca), Yanh Hyun-jun (Gangwon FC), Son Heung-min (Tottenham), Hwang Ui-jo (Olympiacos), Cho Gue-sung (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors)
Son Heung-min and Hwang Hee-chan look set to be the only Premier League-based representatives in Bento’s squad, with Napoli defender Kim Min-jae likely to catch the eye; Manchester United are among the clubs linked with the centre-back.
World ranking: 14
Coach: Diego Alonso
Latest squad: 2-0 Canada; 0-1 v Iran
Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray), Sergio Rochet (Nacional), Guillermo de Amores (Lanus), Sebastian Sosa (Independiente),Santiago Mele (Union), Gaston Olveira (Olimpia), Jose Gimenez (Atletico Madrid), Ronald Araujo (Barcelona), Federico Pereira (Liverpool Montevideo), Agustin Rogel (Hertha Berlin), Damian Suarez (Getafe), Bruno Mendez (Corinthians), Leandro Cabrera (Espanyol), Matias Vina (Roma), Sebastian Coates (Sporting Lisbon), Martin Caceres (LA Galaxy), Mathias Olivera (Napoli), Guillermo Varela (Flamengo), Sebastian Caceres (America), Joaquin Piquerez (Palmeiras), Manuel Ugarte (Sporting CP), Rodrigo Bentancur (Tottenham), Nicolas de la Cruz (River Plate), Giorgian de Arrascaeta (Flamengo), Lucas Torreira (Galatasaray), Federico Valverde (Real Madrid), Matias Vecino (Lazio), Mauro Arambarri (Getafe), Fernando Gorriaran (Santos Laguna), Rodrigo Zalazar (Schalke), Diego Rossi (Fenerbahce), Luis Suarez (Nacional), Darwin Nunez (Liverpool), Maxi Gomez (Trabzonspor), Facundo Torres (Orlando City), Edinson Cavani (Valencia), Facundo Pellistri (Manchester United), Agustin Alvarez (Sassuolo), Agustin Canobbio (Athletico Paranaense), Brian Ocampo (Cadiz), Martin Satriano (Empoli)
Alonso is yet to find the right blend since he replaced Oscar Tabarez last year. Uruguay can call upon Suarez, Cavani and Nunez but time is running out to find a formula to get the best out of the trio – it certainly didn’t work in the shock defeat to Iran. Diego Godin missed those friendlies and the veteran centre-back’s influence appears to be waning. Ronald Araujo (thigh) is a loss – culled from Microsoft Start