FIFA World Cup 2022 Group F: What to expect with Croatia, Belgium and Canada in together

FIFA World Cup’s Group F has two European heavyweights Belgium and Croatia, while Canada remains a dark horse in this group.

Belgium will expect members of its Golden Generation, Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne to be fit for the FIFA World Cup 2022 in November. (File Photo)   -  GETTY IMAGES

FIFA World Cup’s Group F has two European heavyweights Belgium and Croatia, while Canada remains a dark horse in this group. Luka Modric will be in action against his club teammate Thibaut Courtois, while Canada will look to go beyond the group stage to better its history in the tournament.

Here is a look at the four teams in Group F and their analysis as they gear up for Qatar 2022. 

Belgium

Belgium had its best performance ever at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with a third-place finish. In Qatar, it will look to go further ahead in the tournament with midfield talisman Kevin De Bruyne in its side.

The team has been on a promising run in the qualifying games and is on a 28-game unbeaten run. It last lost in a qualifying game in 2009.

Roberto Martinez’s side will become the 11th different nation to reach the landmark of 50 matches at the tournament, they have featured in 48 matches at the finals prior to this edition.

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Belgium will bank its hopes on Chelsea forward Romelu Lukaku with the Hazard brothers, Eden and Thorgan, along the wings. However, it is unclear if the Real Madrid player will be fit enough for Qatar.

Belgium is unbeaten in its last 12 group stage matches at the FIFA World Cup (W7 D5). It has won seven in a row heading into this tournament. Its last group stage defeat was 28 years ago, in 1994 (L 1-0 vs Saudi Arabia).

Manager: Roberto Martinez

Belgium’s World Cup record —

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48209196872

Canada

Canada has had a dream run in the World Cup 2022 Qualifiers. The team made it to the world cup for the first time since 1986, topping the Qualification table.

It recorded its biggest ever victory in a men’s senior international match when it beat the Cayman Islands 11-0 in a World Cup qualifier in March 2021.

Canada will be playing its first world cup since 1986.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

Canada’s attacking prowess has been phenomenal. The total number of goals scored by Canada in the current World Cup qualifying tournament has exceeded 50 — it had never previously scored more than 24 in a single campaign.

Of the top six strikers in the CONCACAF Qualifiers, four are from Canada, with Cyle Larin leading the scoring charts with 13 goals.

In the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, Canada was eliminated in the group stage, losing all the three matches.

Bayern Munich’s prodigy Alphonso Davies, who has been a menace for defenders along the wing, will look to better that performance this time around.

Manager: John Herdman

Canada’s World Cup record —

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Morocco

Morocco ended a 20-year absence from the World Cup when it featured in Russia 2018. This time, it will be competing in back-to-back editions for the second time in its history.

The Atlas Lions have failed to progress beyond the group stage in four of their previous five appearances in the tournament, the exception being their run to the round of 16 in 1986 Mexico.

Among the other countries in its group, Morocco has only played against Belgium in the past (in the World Cup), wherein it lost 0-1 in the 1994 edition in the USA.

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With one of its attacking linchpins Hakim Ziyech announcing his retirement, the responsibility to attack will lay with striker Ayoub El Kaabi. The 28-year-old is the joint second-highest goal scorer in the Qualifying rounds in AFC, with five goals.

Manager: Vahid Halilhodzic

Morocco’s World Cup record —

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162591422

Croatia

The 2018 World Cup runner up has lost just once in its qualifying games to the tournament and will make its sixth appearance in just seven editions (since its debut in 1998).

Croatia’s second place finish in 2018 and third place finish in 1998 are the only two occasions in which it has reached the knockout phase of the FIFA World Cup.

Luka Modric, who won the Golden Ball in the 2018 edition of the FIFA World Cup, will look to lead his team to glory, with the team missing out in the final four years ago.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

The tricky part for Croats would be the fact that it has not played any of the countries in its group, previously in the World Cup.

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Luka Modric, the Golden Ball winner in the previous edition of the tournament, will be the lynchpin in midfield alongside Chelsea’s Matteo Kovacic.

Croatia has scored in all of its last 11 FIFA World Cup matches. Since a 0-0 draw against Japan in the 2006 group stage, it has scored 22 goals in the 11 games.

Manager: Zlatko Dalic

Croatia’s World Cup record —

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Here's the full list of FIFA World Cup 2022 Group F fixtures and timings (IST)

MatchDateFixturesTimeVenue
1November 23Belgium vs Canada6:30 pmAl Thumama Stadium
2November 24Morocco vs Croatia00:30 amAl Rayyan Stadium
3November 27Belgium vs Morocco3.30 pmAl Bayt Stadium
4November 27Croatia vs Canada9:30 pmKhalifa International Stadium
5December 1Croatia vs Belgium6:30 pmAl Thumama Stadium
6December 2Canada vs Morocco00:30 amAl Rayyan Stadium
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