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World Cup 2022: Haaland, Salah & the megastars who won't be going to Qatar

Thirty-two nations will compete for the World Cup trophy when the tournament kicks off in the winter for the first time ever, with reigning champions France set to face stiff competition from the likes of Brazil, Spain, Argentina and Belgium in their pursuit of back-to-back titles.

England are also among the favourites, while household names such as Portugal and Netherlands have been billed as dark horses, but not all of the traditionally strongest nations will be present in Qatar.

Euro 2020 winners Italy were expected to return to the biggest stage after failing to qualify for Russia 2018. However, Roberto Mancini's men let their tickets slip after suffering a humiliating playoff defeat to North Macedonia.

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Sweden, Colombia, Chile, Nigeria and Egypt also fell short, and then there's the fact that some of the qualifiers are starting to lose key players to injuries in the run-up to the big kick-off on November 20.

Indeed, below, GOAL takes a look at the most notable absentees, including a certain in-form Manchester City frontman...