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World Cup upset alert Why Portugal Uruguay Netherlands should be

The 2022 FIFA World Cup has been one of the most unpredictable in quite some time with two historic upsets on consecutive days. First, it was Argentina losing to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, and then Germany lost to Japan on Wednesday. Both saw the giants blow a lead and fall, 2-1. 

And if you are a believer that all good things (at least good for the sport) come in threes, then there is certainly another big upset on the verge of taking place. But who could it be? Here are three teams that could be on upset alert over the next coming days:

1. Uruguay vs. South Korea

Date: Thursday, Nov. 24 | Time: 8 a.m. ET | TV: FS1 and Telemundo | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)

The South Americans hired Diego Alonso to get their World Cup qualifying campaign back on track, and that’s exactly what happened. But there have been some signs that this team could be prime for an upset. First, it’s happened quite a bit lately. They lost 1-0 to Iran in September in a friendly and fell 3-1 to Bolivia in World Cup qualifying. Against the United States over the summer, they showed very little creativity in a dull 0-0 draw.

The team is filled with guys you probably thought had retired now like Diego Godin, Martin Caceres and Luis Suarez, and this is not the same attack or defense we are used to for this team. Now, they have a ton of great young pieces and could be contenders in 2026, but this is a disciplined South Korea team with Heung-min Son and the pace to exploit an aging defense. Don’t be surprised if Uruguay are the next big dogs to go down.

Listen below and follow In Soccer We Trust: A CBS Sports Soccer Podcast where your three favorite former USMNT players cover everything you could possibly want to know about the United States men’s national team during the World Cup in Qatar.

2. Portugal vs. Ghana

Date: Thursday, Nov. 24 | Time: 11 a.m. ET | TV: Fox and Telemundo | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)

Yeah, I know, this isn’t the Ghana of Stephen Appiah and Michael Essien, but with Inaki Williams in the fold, they can certainly exploit a Portugal defense that still has 39-year-old Pepe playing. Thomas Partey is there to command the middle, Mohammed Salisu in defense can be a cornerstone, and we have to remember how Portugal struggle in group stage games. At Euro 2016, when they won the tournament, they didn’t win a single group stage game. At the last World Cup, they managed just one in in the group stage, and that was against Morocco. They also won just one group stage game at Euro 2020.

On paper, they’ve got a heck of a team. But on the pitch is different. Don’t be surprised if Ghana show up. 

3. Netherlands vs. Ecuador

Date: Friday, Nov. 25 | Time: 11 a.m. ET | TV: Fox and Telemundo | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)

This one is quite simple. The Netherlands didn’t look overly great in the 2-0 win over Senegal, and Ecuador looked fantastic against an overmatched Qatar side. This Ecuador team has speed in attack, they have so much chemistry, and the Dutch have a ton of good pieces that just haven’t meshed just yet. Senegal outshot them, and with Sadio Mane, I think it is a different game. Ecuador’s ability to switch fields and exploit space could mean trouble for the World Cup hopefuls on Friday.