The main favorites and dark horses of the 2026 World Cup in South America

On the eve of the qualifying round for the 2026 World Cup in South America, football analysts and fans are looking forward to the start of the game, which promises to be one of the most exciting qualifying games in history. With the increase in the number of teams at the 2026 World Championships to 48, the competition promises to be even more intense and unpredictable. In this article, we will take a look at the teams that are considered the main contenders for victory, as well as those that can become an unexpected surprise in the qualifying round.

Best Selection Favorites

Speaking of qualifying for the World Cup in South America, the main favorites are traditionally the national teams of Brazil and Argentina. These countries not only have the greatest history of success in the international arena, but also continue to play high-profile games over the years. For example, Brazil has won the World Cup five times and has participated in every FIFA tournament since its inception. In the last World Cup, the Brazilian national team took first place in the table of the South American Football Union (CONMEBOL) and showed a confident game in the qualifying round games.

Argentina, in turn, won the World Cup twice and qualified regularly. The Argentines also showed strong results in the last qualifying round, confirming their ability to dominate at the regional level. The experience and skill of players like Lionel Messi, one of the best footballers of all time, strengthens the team’s position as favorites.

What is equally important is that both teams have a high level of coaching staff and infrastructure, which gives them the opportunity to prepare for qualifying round games at the best level. In addition, thanks to the strong football community and the development of youth academies, Brazil and Argentina are constantly updating their squad with new talents, ensuring the continuity of quality games in the international arena.

Of course, there is always room for contingencies in football, and many dominant teams in history have failed in the qualifying rounds, but based on the statistics of recent years, Brazil and Argentina have good chances to defend their positions as the main candidates. victory in qualifying games.

In addition, given the format of the upcoming World Championship, which involves the participation of more and more teams, as can be seen from the site, it can be assumed that the chances of these teams have increased. The presence of additional places in the final stage of the tournament means that even with unforeseen difficulties in the Qualifying Stage, strong teams such as Brazil and Argentina are likely to take one of the qualifying places.

Dark horses

In the context of football, the term “dark horses” refers to teams that are clearly not favorites in the tournament, but have the potential to surprise and perform well, despite low expectations for their performance. In South America, apart from giants such as Brazil and Argentina, there are several teams that could claim this status before qualifying for the 2026 World Cup.

The Uruguayan team traditionally has a strong position in South America. They have won the World Cup twice and often leave the qualifying round, showing strong team spirit and tactical agility. Their performance in the final round of the World Cup qualifiers proves their ability to compete at the highest level, despite the lack of publicity from their aforementioned neighbors.

Colombia, another team that regularly challenges the continent’s more established teams, has shown to be able to do well in major tournaments, reaching the 2014 World Cup 1/4 final. Although their path to subsequent tournaments is more difficult, they remain a team capable of surprises.

After a 36-year hiatus from the tournament, Peru, which has reached the final stage of the World Cup 2018, continues to show perseverance and unity, which can lead to unexpected results in the upcoming qualifiers. Joint play and motivation can give them an advantage when fighting for a place on the world stage.

Winner of the America’s Cup in 2015 and 2016, Chile has shown that they can win major tournaments. Despite their recent struggles in qualifying, they still have quality squads and international experience that can help them get back on track.

Ecuador, which has shown stable growth in recent years and reached the playoffs of the 2022 World Cup, can also be considered a dark horse in the upcoming qualifying rounds. The youth squad and aggressive style of play make them unexpected opponents.

It should be noted that the success of dark horses depends on various factors, including injuries to key players, team formation at critical points in the selection process, and the ability to adapt to a competitive selection environment. While they don’t have the same level of star power as the top favorites, they certainly have the talent and organization to break forecasts and make a statement on the world stage.

Qualification Strategies

During the qualifying round of the World Championship, National Football teams face various tactical and strategic challenges to secure their place in the final round of the tournament. The strategy of each team is unique and depends on its resources, the skill of the coach, the level of the players and many other factors.

One of the key elements of a successful qualifying campaign is the depth of the team. Teams with a wide range of quality players can better cope with injuries and penalties. For example, the German national team traditionally performs strongly in the qualifying rounds, which is reflected in the consistency of their results.

Tactical agility also plays an important role. Coaches who can adapt their teams to different opponents and circumstances often achieve success. For example, the Italian national team is known for its tactical discipline and the ability to change the style of play depending on the situation.

In addition, playing away in the qualifying round often becomes a challenge. Teams with a strong mentality and the ability to maintain focus in unknown environments tend to achieve better results. For example, the Brazilian national team often demonstrates good results in away matches, despite the difficulties associated with long flights and climatic differences.

The experience of the coaching staff is no less important. Experienced coaches are better at managing team resources and making more informed tactical choices at critical moments. The qualifying successes of teams such as France are often associated with the experience of their coaching staff.

The physical fitness of the players is another important element. Teams that approach each match in the highest physical condition have a better chance of success. For example, the physical education programs of the Spanish national team are known for their high quality and attention to detail, which allows them to maintain a high level of performance in all qualifying stages.

Time Soccer
Time Soccer is a collective of individuals who are united by a passion for football.Our goal is to provide you with insightful analysis, engaging video highlights and up-to-date coverage of matches.


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