Croatia – Belgium | 01/12/2022 WORLD CUP

Group F favourites Belgium face the prospect of elimination at the first hurdle of the 2022 World Cup when they take on Croatia at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium on Thursday. The Red Devils currently sit in third place, one point behind the Checkered Ones and Morocco in the top two heading into their final group fixture.

In a World Cup full of shocks and upsets, there will almost certainly be further twists and turns in store as Group F leaders Croatia (FIFA rank: #12) meet Belgium (FIFA rank: #2) with both sides bidding to reach the knockout stages. Nothing is guaranteed and everything is to play for as both sides can still top the group, but Croatia hold the advantage as they’re one point ahead (W1, D1).

Zlatko Dalić’s side started this tournament slowly, drawing 0-0 with Morocco but responded to an early setback on their way to a storming 4-1 victory against Canada, which suggests they are growing into the competition. They’ll be keen to avoid another slow start, as Alphonso Davies’ second-minute strike against them was their second goal conceded inside ten minutes in four games, though going unbeaten in those matches (W3, D1) suggests conceding early isn’t always catastrophic for Croatia.

Belgium were fortunate to edge out Canada 1-0 in their opener but were beaten 2-0 by Morocco last time out, a result which reportedly sparked rioting in Brussels, Antwerp and even Amsterdam! The on-field challenge increases again as they take on the 2018 runners-up and worryingly, Belgium manager Roberto Martínez said his side played against Morocco with “the fear of losing” – a far from ideal mindset knowing defeat will see Belgium crash out of the tournament.

Having the better of recent H2Hs (W2, D1) might put them in a better mindset and although none of those games produced more than three goals, with Belgium needing a result and Croatia not yet guaranteed progression, such high stakes could lead to a more open affair. In fact, the emphasis probably falls on Belgium to push forward as a draw is only good enough in the unlikely event Canada beat Morocco by three clear goals!


Date: 01/12/2022
Time: 18:00
Venue: Ahmad bin Ali Stadium (Al Rayyan)
Pick for this match:
“Over 2.5 – @ 2.10 ( BETWAY )

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