Success at any World Cup can often come down to fine margins. A scrappy goal or an outstanding save could make the difference between winning and losing.
At the knockout stage, the dreaded penalty shootout may come into play. That’s why the goalkeeper can often be the most important player on the team. With that in mind, here are five of the key stoppers on show at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
1. Hugo Lloris: France
France’s Hugo Lloris already knows what it takes to win a World Cup. He was the captain of the side that beat Croatia 4-2 in the final four years ago and he’ll be the first-choice stopper once again.
Statistics show that he generally keeps a clean sheet once every three games. He’ll concede around 1.11 goals in each match and those are impressive numbers.
France are second favorites to win the World Cup, according to current World Cup betting odds supplied by Sbo.net. The panel of bookmakers at this site has placed Brazil at the top of the market, followed by France, Spain, Argentina, and England.
This is a good place to monitor the progress of teams in Qatar. Odds are provided by all the top sportsbooks and they will be adjusted as the tournament develops. While assessing the figures, readers can access useful information including breaking news, opinion articles, and specific betting guides.
There’s a lot of information and site visitors have the opportunity to put that to the test. Each betting operator is able to accept new players. Having completed a fast and secure registration form, many will publish a welcome offer to get things moving.
A wide selection of deposit providers is in place and customer services can assist if anyone gets stuck. Once playing regularly, there are likely to be other benefits. Additional bonuses, in-play markets, and a choice of alternative sports should also be up for grabs.
It’s a useful World Cup site for both fans and bettors, but Hugo Lloris isn’t the only goalkeeper looking to take his team to the trophy.
2. Jordan Pickford: England
Everton’s Jordan Pickford may face some competition for his place. He’s been under pressure at the club level due to a dip in form, but he remains the first choice in the eyes of national coach Gareth Southgate.
Pickford’s interventions helped England to the runners up spot at the Euro 2020 final and he’ll be aiming to go one better in Qatar.
3. Alisson: Brazil
Since joining Liverpool from Roma in 2018, Alisson has proved to be one of the most reliable keepers in world football. He’s brought calm to the number one jersey after a period of chaos at Anfield.
Like Hugo Lloris, Alisson generally keeps one clean sheet for every three games, while he concedes around 1.33 goals for every match. Brazil is the favorite for the World Cup and their number-one stopper will have to be at his best if they are to justify that position.
4. Manuel Neuer: Germany
Germany’s Manuel Neuer has an injury concern going into the World Cup and head coach Hansi Flick will be desperate for his player to regain fitness. At the age of 36, Bayern Munich number one is among the most experienced players in Qatar with 113 caps for the senior German side.
The irony is that teammate Thomas Muller forces Germany teammate, Neuer out of action in a training accident. In all probability, he will be fit for Qatar, but the fact that this is a shoulder problem is an obvious concern for a goalkeeper.
There is a saying in football that you should never write off the Germans, but the side will be less of a threat if Manuel Neuer misses out.
5. Thibaut Courtois: Belgium
Having claimed third place in Russia 2018, Belgium is expected to go deep into the tournament once again. They have an experienced defense with both Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen passing 100 caps, and Thibaut Courtois should also reach this milestone in Qatar.
He’s played for some of the best club sides in the world, including present employers Real Madrid. Courtois has been the dependable keeper while Belgium has climbed the FIFA rankings, and he’ll be essential to the team’s progress once again.
Kenneth is a an avid soccer follower, fan and writer. He is a consistent follower of the sport and is a fan of Chelsea FC.