Croatia vs Belgium Match Analysis & Prediction
01/12/2022 6:00 pm
Group F favourites Belgium face the threat of elimination at the first hurdle of the 2022 World Cup when they face Croatia at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium on Thursday.
The Red Devils are currently in third place, one point behind the Checkered Ones and Morocco in the top two heading into their final group game.
After drawing 0-0 with Morocco in their opening Group F match, Croatia responded with an impressive 4-1 victory over Canada on Sunday, eliminating the Maple Leafs in the process.
The Checkered Ones now sit at the top of their group with four points, narrowly above Morocco in second on goals scored and Zlatko Dalic’s side need just a draw against Belgium to secure their spot in the knockout rounds. A victory would guarantee top spot if Morocco fail to defeat Canada by a greater goal margin.
Croatia boast a strong run of form heading into the contest, as they are unbeaten in their last eight games across all competitions, while they have also lost just one of their last 18 internationals since Euro 2020.
Four years on from finishing third at the World Cup in Russia, Belgium’s golden generation are now staring down the barrel of a possible early exit at the group stage in Qatar.
The Red Devils were fortunate to come away with maximum points in a narrow 1-0 victory over Canada in their opening Group F match, but their luck ran out against Morocco as they were beaten 2-0 on Sunday.
Roberto Martinez is under pressure to guide his side out of the group, and Belgium need a victory against Croatia to guarantee their spot in the last 16. Meanwhile, a draw will only be enough to claim a top-two place if Morocco lose by three or more goals against Canada.
Croatia vs. Belgium Head to head
These two nations have previously met on eight occasions across all competitions, where they have each won three times while drawing twice. Croatia have scored nine goals and conceded six in the process. In their last five meetings, Belgium have won three, Croatia one with one draw.
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Croatia Team News
Captain Luka Modric is just one booking away from a suspension, but he is expected to retain his place in the centre-midfield alongside Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic.
Dejan Lovren and Josko Gvardiol will maintain their pertnership at centre-back, while Josip Juranovic and Borna Sosa will hope to keep their places in centre-midfield.
Croatia's Last 5 Matches
Belgium Team News
Martinez is forced to make at least one change to his side, as midfielder Amadou Onana is ruled out through suspension, with Youri Tielemans expected to deputise.
Romelu Lukaku came off the bench against Morocco to make his first appearance in Qatar, and Martinez is hopeful that the striker will be fit to start here.
Belgium's Last 5 Matches
Croatia vs. Belgium: Odds and Predictions
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