Croatia vs Belgium prediction, odds, betting tips and best bets for World Cup 2022 Group F play-in game – Sporting News

Two upper-echelon European sides with their World Cup hopes on the line match up in their Group F finale at the 2022 World Cup.
Belgium were favorites to win the group, but now come into this match likely needing a win to advance. They currently sit third in the group, and with Morocco a point ahead and playing an eliminated Canada side in their finale, a draw almost surely won’t do the trick.
Meanwhile, Croatia have done better, putting Canada to the sword last time out, but even they were shaky against Morocco in the opener and require at least a point to move on. Knowing a draw is enough to advance, but a win sees them pull a much healthier Round of 16 opponent, there’s a good chance Croatia could still go for all three points.
This matchup has all the makings of a mouthwatering tie, as likely only one team can advance unless Canada spring an upset in the other match.
MORE: Follow all 2022 FIFA World Cup daily picks & predictions from The Sporting News here
This match is totally wide open, as the moneyline odds between the two teams are nearly identical, if not perfectly split depending on bookmaker. It’s a mystery who will come through to advance, as both sides know a win secures a knockout stage place. Croatia only need a draw, and that will play a factor, but a win would see them assured to win the group and avoid a difficult Round of 16 draw.
What there is sure to be, according to the odds, are goals. It’s one of the only World Cup games to this point where the over is preferred, knowing both teams feature attacking talent that will want to push for an advantage in the match.
Odds via BetMGM (USA), Sports Interaction (Canada), SkyBet (UK), and Ladbrokes (Australia).
Zlatko Dalic can consider himself lucky that Croatia have no injury concerns to worry about through two World Cup matches. Only goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic deserves mention, after missing out on the World Cup through an Achilles injury.
Belgium will be sweating the status of Romelu Lukaku, who missed the opener against Canada while recovering from a hamstring injury but came off the bench against Morocco. They’ll likely turn to him to start with their tournament lives on the line, but it’s tough to know exactly how much he’ll have in the tank. Their only other injury to note is Alexis Saelemaekers, who missed the tournament altogether with a knee injury.
MORE: Full injury tracker for all 32 teams at the 2022 FIFA World Cup
It’s hard to trust Belgium here after how shaky they’ve been in this tournament. Croatia know they’ll need just a draw to advance, and will progress as such. Belgium, meanwhile have not looked exceptional on either end of the field, shaky defensively in both games and failing to produce consistent attacking pressure. If Kevin de Bruyne can’t turn his World Cup around soon, they could be facing a shock group stage exit.
MORE: How to watch Croatia vs. Belgium in World Cup Group F play
While goals seem to be expected in this match, the opposite will be true here as the two teams battle for supremacy in a wide-open group.
Croatia poured it on against Canada, punishing an inexperienced side for their mistakes, but they won’t see the same issues against this seasoned Belgium side. Conversely, Belgium have looked sputtery up front through two games, with Kevin de Bruyne not playing well and Romelu Lukaku not fit.
This game will end level, unless one side can keep a clean sheet.
While Croatia are not a side that rely on building set-piece opportunities, Belgium are. They picked out nine corners against Canada, and while this game won’t be nearly that open, it should feature enough Belgian desperation to see them earn a fair amount of chances from the corner flag. They picked out a whopping 10 corners against Croatia in their last meeting, a friendly back in 2021.
MORE: Watch every World Cup match live with fuboTV (U.S.-only free trial)
This final Group F match will be played at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium. Here’s how you can watch all the action in some of the major global territories.


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