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Croatia vs Canada, FIFA World Cup 2022, Today Match Prediction

Doha, Khalifa International Stadium

4

Star

1

2018 Runners-up Croatia looking to kick into gear against dangerous Canadians

  • Croatia lacked spark in their opening game against Morocco, a 0-0 draw
  • Canada looked energetic and dangerous despite losing 1-0 to Belgium
  • Belgium, also in Group F, could be out of sight on six points by the time these two play

Croatia to win 2-1

Tournament: FIFA World Cup 2022 | Venue: Doha, Khalifa International Stadium

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Although Croatia went all the way to the Final at the World Cup in 2018, it was always expected that they wouldn’t be quite the same this time around.

Their star players, the likes of Modric and Perisic, have left the peaks of their careers behind, and there isn’t the same kind of zip and thrust as there once was.

That said, only one game has been played and there is time for Croatia to grow into the tournament. Should they win this one, they’ll be right back into the mix and with a strong shout of qualifying for the next round.

Canada were rather unlucky to end their opening game with nothing to show for it. They had tested Belgium’s defence, and goalkeeping abilities, to the limit at times. 

With one of the youngest squads at this World Cup, they’ll be able to match the likes of Croatia in a battle. It’s just whether they have the quality to take their chances on the biggest stage.

Croatia Preview

FIFA Ranking: 12

Predicted Finish: Round of 16

Reasons to be cheerful:

     Modric showed glimpses of his ability in opener

     A win here will get them back on track

Reasons to be fearful:

     Nikola Vlasic is a fitness doubt having come off early with a calf injury

     Canada’s pace and energy will cause them problems

At the last World Cup, Croatia came flying out of the traps and set their group alight by winning all three matches, including a brilliant win over Argentina.

This time around, they got life off to a more subdued start in their opener against Morocco. The North African team frustrated the silver medallists from 2018 with a blend of hard work and organisation.

In turn, Croatia’s output wasn’t as expected. They struggled to break through the lines and, ultimately, test the opposition goalkeeper. 

This will be the final World Cup, you would think, for the likes of Modric, Perisic and co. but can they provide one last hurrah in Qatar?

A win here would set up a mouth-watering deciding game against Belgium, which would likely determine who tops the group.

Star Man – Luca Modric

The little genius in midfield struggled to pick off his usual defence-splitting passes in the opening game. He still possesses that quality of course, and knows that he can find a way through Canada’s back line.

Canada Preview

FIFA Ranking: 41

Predicted Finish: Group Stage

Reasons to be cheerful

     Were unlucky to lose against Belgium

     Will have chances once again going forward

Reasons to be fearful

     Need to be more ruthless in front of goal

     Could be picked off if they press forward too quickly

For those who follow North American football, it will come as no surprise at how good this Canada team are. They finished ahead of the United States and Mexico in qualifying after all.

The Maple Leafs gave Belgium a good run for their money too, it must be said. For much of the game, it didn’t look as though there were 39 positions between them in the FIFA world rankings.

Jonathan David went close with an effort that was saved by Courtois, but they came closest of all when Alphonso Davies had a penalty saved by the Belgian stopper.

It is this wastefulness in front of goal that will hamper the Canadians in this tournament, especially against a ruthless and experienced team like Croatia. 

Star Man – Jonathan David

Saw his headed chance well saved by the Belgian keeper and will be disappointed he didn’t fashion too many more opportunities throughout the match. He’ll back himself to score here should the chance fall to him.

     Croatia will be patient and pick Canada off

     Canada will be more direct with their pace

     Both countries need victory

Two teams come up against one another with contrasting styles, which should make for an entertaining match.

Croatia have all the experience and know-how on the World Cup stage. Canada are the up-and-comers who are fearless and willing to take the game to any opponents.

It should be a well-fought game, similar to these nations’ opening matches, but due to their experience and overall quality, you would expect Croatia to find a way through.

Croatia to win 2-1

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Author: Ross B.