Qatar World Cup: Complete analysis of Group F teams
The Group F of the 2022 FIFA World Cup comprises the likes of Croatia, Belgium, Morocco, and Canada. Belgium and Croatia are the teams expected to progress to the round of 16 from this group. Canada, who are set to mark only their second appearance in the WC history, will have plenty to do alongside Morocco. Here is the complete analysis of Group F.
How have Group F teams performed in World Cup?
Belgium have played a total of 48 games, winning 20, drawing nine, and losing 19. Croatia have so far featured in 23 games, winning 11, drawing four, and losing eight. Morocco have played 16 WC fixtures to tally two wins, five draws, and nine losses. Canada are yet to win a game in the competition, having lost all matches in the 1986 edition.
Belgium remained unbeaten throughout the WC qualifiers
Belgium lost in the quarters of Euro 2020 before finishing on top of the European WC Qualifiers, with six wins and two draws. They blasted 25 goals and conceded only six to finish above Wales and the Czech Republic in Group E. In UEFA Nations League 2022-23, Belgium finished second in League A Group 4.
Belgium will bank on KDB masterclass
Seated second in FIFA Rankings, Belgium are the outright favorites to sneak out of Group F. Man City midfielder De Bruyne remains the standout player, with 12 assists across competitions in 2022-23. De Bruyne, who has played 94 matches for Belgium, will add that extra bit of cushion and precise chances for his team. Playing alongside Eden Hazard will serve well for KDB.
Croatia aced the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers
Croatia were stunned 0-1 by Slovenia on matchday 1 of the WC Qualifiers. It was their only defeat in the qualifiers as the Vatreni stitched seven wins and two draws thereafter to conclude atop Group F, with 23 points. Russia (22), Slovakia (14), and Slovenia (14) followed suit. Croatia put up an emphatic show, slamming 21 goals and conceding just four.
Croatia have the momentum heading into WC
Coming to the UEFA Nations League 2022-23, Croatia suffered a devastating 0-3 drubbing to Austria which was followed by a 1-1 draw to France. The Blazers then stitched a stunning four-match win streak to finish on top of League A Group 1. Croatia (13) pipped Denmark (12), France (5), and Austria (4) to advance to the Nations League Finals (semis) scheduled next year.
Croatia are a side to beat!
Croatia have kept the core similar from 2018 Russia WC. Their midfield comprises captain Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic, and Marcelo Brozovic, who have a combined 300-plus caps among themselves. 37-year-old Modric remains their best bet in the tournament. He was adjudged Player of the Tournament in 2018. Besides, there's Ivan Perisic providing experience down the wings. Their inexperienced backline will be put to test.
Canada have a potent attack on offer
Bayern's Alphonso Davies can be an influential figure. Although he plays as a left-back for the Bavarians, he is likely to be deployed as a winger or wing-back in the WC. The 21-year-old has managed three goals and four assists across competitions in 2022-23. Cyle Larin and Jonathan David have supreme finishing abilities. FC Porto's midfielder Stephen Eustaquio is skilled on both fronts.
Can Morocco pull an upset in Group F?
Morocco tasted a group stage exit in 2018 Russia, failing to win any game (D1 L2). They look confident to make their opportunities count in Qatar. The Atlas Lions had a breezy run all throughout the 2022 qualifiers. They won each of their six matches, fetching 20 goals and conceding just once.
Morocco have able campaigners in their side
Should Morocco manage a favorable outcome against Croatia or Belgium, they could fancy a R16 berth. Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech is a massive plus upfront with Sofiane Boufal and Yousef En-Nesyri. Although the former has played sporadically in 2022-23, he will be determined for a concrete run in the WC. There's PSG right-back Achraf Hakimi, who has been sensational this season.
Vahid Halilhodiz was axed after helping Morocco qualify
Former head coach Vahid Halilhodiz played a central role as Morocco booked their tickets for the WC. However, he was fired soon, owing to his differences with the Moroccan football federation. Walid Regragui replaced him for the role. Halilhodiz was axed by Ivory Coast (2010) and Japan (2018) right after he helped these sides qualify in the respective editions of the WC.
Group F: Here's the schedule of matches
Morocco vs Croatia: November 23 (3:30 PM IST). Belgium vs Canada: November 24 (12:30 AM IST). Belgium vs Morocco: November 27 (6:30 PM IST). Croatia vs Canada: November 27 (9:30 PM IST). Canada vs Morocco: December 1 (8:30 PM IST). Croatia vs Belgium: December 1 (8:30 PM IST).
Where to watch the Qatar World Cup in India?
Fans in India can watch the FIFA World Cup 2022 live on Sports18 and Sports18 HD. Fans can stream the matches on the Voot app and Jio Cinema (paid subscription).