Group F Overview
Group F features the runners-up and third-placed team from Russia four years ago in Croatia and Belgium respectively. The two European nations are joined by Canada, competing in their second ever World Cup.
The Favourites: Belgium
Retirements and the decline of key players have seen Belgium fall from contenders to dark horses. Roberto Martinez is still at the helm, and they arguably have the best player in the world in midfield in Kevin De Bruyne.
The Red Devils have had two of their three best World Cup showings at the last two editions, but their form has been patchy recently, with two Nations League losses to the Netherlands and a last-eight exit from the Euros.
If things fall into place, Belgium could again find themselves in the latter rounds. They are rightly favoured to top this group, but they will likely be underdogs against Spain or Germany in the round of 16.
Belgium are 8/11 at Paddy Power to win Group F.
Still built around Luka Modrić, Mateo Kovačić, Marcelo Brozović and Ivan Perišić, Croatia are laden with veterans in Qatar. The experience of four years ago is beneficial, yet repeating those heroics is a longshot, even if they are expected to progress from Group F.
Chelsea target Joško Gvardiol is a player to keep an eye on, and the defence will need to be very solid if they are to go on a run this winter.
While they aren’t as strong as they have been in previous years, don’t underrate the Vatreni after their stellar Nations League showing.
Croatia are 5/2 to win Group F at William Hill.
Canada were scoreless and lost all three of their matches at their only other World Cup appearance in 1986. The Maple Leafs are the strongest they have ever been right now, with Alphonso Davies, Cyle Larin and Jonathan David leading the way.
A semi-final exit at the 2021 Gold Cup was the first time they had reached the last four of that competition since 2007.
While their form isn’t the best with three wins from eight, Canada will be a fun team to watch in Qatar and could spring a surprise or two in this group.
Canada are 3/1 to reach the last 16 at Boyle Sports.
Morocco have won just two of their 16 matches in World Cup play.
Their group-stage exit in Russia was their first World Cup appearance since 1998, and they have suffered two early AFCON exits since then. Their form is decent, with a friendly win over Chile in September, and their squad has some impressive talents.
Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech and PSG’s Achraf Hakimi are the two biggest names, but keep an eye out for Nayef Aguerd returning from injury and Sevilla’s Youssef En-Nesyri, who has 14 international goals to his name.
Schedule and Venues
- 23rd November: Croatia vs Morocco, 10am, Al Bayt Stadium
- 23rd November: Belgium vs Canada, 7pm, Ahmed bin Ali Stadium
- 27th November: Morocco vs Belgium, 1pm, Al Thumama Stadium
- 27th November: Croatia vs Canada, 4pm, Khalifa International Stadium
- 1st December: Canada vs Morocco, 3pm, Al Thumama Stadium
- 1st December: Belgium vs Croatia, 3pm, Ahmed bin Ali
All odds are subject to change