World Cup Preview & Prediction – Group F: Belgium and Croatia star in competitive quartet

World Cup Preview & Prediction – Group F: Belgium and Croatia star in competitive quartet

After years of waiting, the FIFA World Cup returns to our screens as the greatest spectacle in sport hits the Middle East this Sunday. The fact that the competition is being held in Qatar isn’t exactly sitting well with the majority of fans and pundits out there, but there has still been an attempt from the masses to forget about all of that in favour of what we all know and love – the beautiful game.

Eight groups of four teams are set to compete in the final World Cup before the capacity is extended from 32 to 48 in 2026. The expectation is that we’ll see a whole lot of unpredictable scorelines, goals and potentially career-changing performances, but in reality, most folks just want Qatar’s effort to go off without too many problems.

We can’t picture a scenario in which that happens but for the sake of keeping the peace, we’re going to look towards the actual football that’ll be played over the course of the next month or so.

The focus will now be turning to Group F and while we all may think we know the direction of travel that this one is heading in, we’d argue that it’s one of the most unpredictable groups of them all. It’s full of talent, unknown quantities and four nations in Canada, Croatia, Belgium and Morocco that will all feel as if they’ve got a point to prove.

Canada

It’s been a long, long time since we’ve seen Canada at the World Cup, but their return to the big time is almost upon us. One of the biggest and most noteworthy changes in their absence has been, quite simply, how much they’ve grown and improved as a national team – with most of that success stemming from their youth movement.

They have a parade of top quality stars at their disposal and in reality, this is just a test run. They’ve got the 2026 WC, which they’ll be co-hosting, to get excited about, with this serving as an opportunity for them to test the waters with the young squad they already have.

Croatia

The likelihood of Croatia living up to what they accomplished at Russia 2018 isn’t good but in many ways, that should give them all the motivation they need. They reached the final in that tournament before falling to France and even though it’s an aging squad, they’ll still be seen as a team capable of going deep into the knockouts.

Alas, we aren’t so sure that’s going to be on the cards for them this time around, if only because of the talent they’ll have to go up against. Their fixtures will be a fun ride as they always are, but this could be one of the surprise packages and not in a good way.

Belgium

The golden generation of Belgian talent has been talked about for the better part of a decade now. They’ve had big names, solid managers and a whole lot of quality. The one problem has always been their inability to put it all together when it matters the most but after reaching the semis in Russia, they’ll fancy themselves to go even further with Kevin de Bruyne leading the charge.

The Red Devils most certainly aren’t here to make up the numbers and even though this is one of the tougher groups you could come across at this particular World Cup, we still think they should be seen as the clear favourites out of these four.

Morocco

Morocco, as they’ve done in the past, will offer up a role as the wildcard of the group. In the eyes of many they should be finishing bottom but given that they’ll be playing Croatia in their first game, a team of the ‘unknown’ variety, they should be lifting their heads up high in an attempt to claw out a point – at the very least – to give them a real shot.

They are known for being defensively sound when they want to be and they’re going to come up against some serious attacking talent which, over the course of the three games, may start to wear on them if they can’t keep it tight early.

Prediction: Belgium – 1st, Canada – 2nd, Croatia – 3rd, Morocco – 4th

Source: Soccer News

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