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Belgium vs Morocco, FIFA World Cup 2022, Today Match Prediction

Al-Thumama, Al-Thumama Stadium

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2

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Belgium seeking second group stage victory against Morocco after edging past Canadians

  • Belgium snuck past Canada in their opening group game by a 1-0 scoreline
  • Victory here would almost certainly ensure qualification for the next round
  • Morocco earned a point in a tight game against Croatia

Belgium to win 1-0

Tournament: FIFA World Cup 2022 | Venue: Al-Thumama, Al-Thumama Stadium

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Group F is set up nicely, although it certainly favours the Belgians after their narrow victory over Canada in their opening fixture.

It was a performance that far from convinced regarding Belgium’s trophy lifting aspirations and they’ll need a considerable improvement if they are to go deep in this tournament.

In truth, it was only Canada’s wastefulness in front of goal that kept the score in favour of the Belgian’s, and you would expect Morocco to show similar levels of effort and determination as the North Americans.

Indeed, we saw plenty of that from Morocco in their first game, a hard-fought 0-0 draw against 2018 runners-up Croatia.

Although the North African nation failed to create any clear-cut chances, we saw exactly why they have only lost two of their last 40 matches.

They’ll need more than a stern defence to progress, however, and will need to raise their game once again against Belgium.

Belgium Preview

FIFA Ranking: 2

Predicted Finish: Semi Finals

Reasons to be cheerful:

     The quality of De Bruyne and Courtois in goal always give them a chance

     Have a large squad with Lukaku still to return

Reasons to be fearful:

     Ageing defence showed worrying weaknesses against Canada

     Best days are gone for most of this team

When asked about Belgium’s chances at this World Cup, following their narrow 1-0 victory over Canada, Kevin De Bruyne responded: “our best opportunity was in 2018.”

You’d find it hard to disagree with him, considering his nation’s third-place finish at that tournament in Russia. Against Canada, they looked leggy, shaky in defence and without too much quality going forward.

Romelu Lukaku is still to come in, although may not to fit to start here. In Thibaut Courtois they have one of the best keepers in the world. Kevin De Bruyne is still at the top of his game in midfield.

Other than that, they have a team of ageing individuals whose peak came four years ago.

They’ll need to up their game here, against another energetic, direct team.

Star Man – Kevin De Bruyne

Has the quality to transform the game in an instant. When Lukaku returns upfront, we should see the best of De Bruyne once again for Belgian. Until then, he may have to do much of it alone.

Morocco Preview

FIFA Ranking: 22

Predicted Finish: Group Stage

Reasons to be cheerful

     Only lost two of their last 40 games

     Won’t be daunted by playing this Belgium side

Reasons to be fearful

     Lack a cutting edge upfront

     Defeat would make it hard to qualify

From one ageing opponents to the next, Morocco’s opening two games have come against European royalty in terms of football.

However, despite Croatia making it to the final in 2018, and although Belgium were the third-best team at that tournament, neither are at the peak of their powers anymore.

Morocco showed how well-drilled and organised they are in that opening game, deserving the point they take into this one. They’ll fancy their chances against an uninspiring Belgium team here.

In that goalless game against Croatia, Hakimi was a constant threat down the right, while Mazraoui came closest with a back-post header.

Can they spring a surprise here?

Star Man – Hakim Ziyech

If Morocco are to start creating chances, they’ll need their most creative players to start performing at their best. Ziyech was quiet against Croatia and needs to step up here.

     Belgium will control possession

     Expect another tight game

     Will be nervy coming into the final period of the game

You would expect that this will be another tight game for Belgium to try and navigate their way through.

They don’t have the energy and dynamism of four years ago, and now rely on moments here and there. 

We know we’ll get a high-pressing, high effort performance from Morocco, but do they have the quality to trouble this Belgium team?

Arguably not. Belgium to win by another narrow margin and qualify for the Round of 16.

Belgium to win 1-0

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Author: Ross B.