Croatia vs Belgium Prediction, Betting Odds & Preview
This is our Croatia vs Belgium prediction! Check out all the betting odds in our preview of this clash between two top European sides.
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Matchup: Croatia vs Belgium
Venue: Ahmed bin Ali Stadium
Kick-Off: 3pm, Thurs, Dec 1st
What Channel? RTE 2 for Irish viewers. You can watch the match in the UK on BBC One
Match Betting Odds
How Each Team Can Qualify
Croatia will qualify for the next round with a win or a draw in this game. A win likely sees them top the group but if Morocco beat Canada then it would come down to goal difference which Croatia currently lead by a single goal.
For Belgium it is pretty simple here, they need to win to qualify for the knockout rounds. If they draw then they would need Morocco to lose to Canada by four clear goals.
The Form – Croatia vs Belgium
Croatia were unimpressive in their first game of this World Cup when they drew 0-0 with Morocco. However, that result doesn’t seem as bad as it did at first given that Belgium fell to a 2-0 defeat to the Moroccans in the last round of matches.
The Croatians followed their lackluster opening performance up with a crucial 4-1 win against Canada. They had to show resilience and come from behind in that game too after Alphonso Davies scored for the Canadians in the opening minutes.
Canada put them under a lot of pressure at times with a high pressing game but the Croatians were composed and their big tournament experienced eventually shone through.
Belgium have looked downright bad in this World Cup so far. They won their opening game against Canada 1-0 but they were incredibly fortunate to get that result. In truth, Canada outplayed them for the majority of the game.
In the last round of matches they were punished by Morocco for their poor play as the North African side score two second half goals to earn a deserved victory over the Belgians.
If you look at the FIFA World Rankings you will see that this is the second ranked team in the world. However, if you watched their recent performances you would never think that.
How The Two Teams Match Up Croatia vs Belgium Prediction
Croatia are coming into this game in great goal scoring form off the back of a four-goal performance against Canada. The four goals probably flatter them a little as they weren’t as dominant in the Canada game as that scoreline would suggest. Still, scoring in a World Cup isn’t easy so that performance in front of goals will give them a lot of confidence going forward.
In their first game against Morocco they failed to score a goal and they never really looked like scoring either in a 0-0 draw. In that outing Croatia could only manage two shots on target in the ninety minutes.
Andrej Kramaric of Hoffenheim is the man to watch for Croatia up front after his two-goal performance last time out against Canada. You can expect Luka Modric to pull the strings for Croatia from midfield as he has for the past decade plus.
Belgium really struggled in defence against Morocco in their previous game. Despite the Belgians controlling possession at 67% they were seemingly under threat every time that Morocco got hold of the ball. Morocco took eleven shots at the Belgium goal and four of those were on target.
This is an aging defence and I think this is one major tournament too far for a lot of the players in this team. When you consider the likes of Alerweireld, who is 33, and Vertonghen at 35, this is a defensive unit that is well past its prime.
If you look at the Belgian attacking players on paper you would think that this should be one of the most formidable teams going forward in the competition. The reality sadly is anything but that.
In the opener against Canada they were only able to score one goal and could only manage three shots on target. That was a game that most people would have expected Belgium to be convincing in but they were far from it.
De Bruyne so far in this tournament has looked miles different to the midfield maestro we see at Man City week in and week out. It’s hard to know what the issue is but he really hasn’t looked himself in Qatar.
Lukaku hasn’t appeared yet at this World Cup as he has been battling with a thigh injury. I think there’s a good chance that we see him make an appearance in this game as his country are on the brink of World Cup elimination.
Croatia have been in great form defensively both in this World Cup and in the lead up Qatar. There are no real star names in their back four but they are well organised and don’t give anything easy away to their opposition.
You might be familiar with Dejan Lovren who played at Liverpool as a centre back for a few years. The Croatians have only conceded three goals in their last five outings which is an average of 0.6 per game.
Croatia vs Belgium Prediction and Best Bet
I’m going with Croatia to win and over 2.5 goals boosted to 7/2 odds from 10/3 as the best bet for this game.
Belgium need to win this game to stay in the tournament so I expect them to throw absolutely everything at Croatia but the reality is that the Croatians are just a better team than Belgium. I think we will see Croatia take the lead at some point in the first half and Belgium will then have to press which will leave them vulnerable at the back and Croatia can take advantage of this like they did against Canada last time out.
Croatia vs Belgium Prediction – Goalscorer Betting Odds
I can’t look past Kramaric to score the first goal here at odds of 13/2. The Croatian looked composed in front of goal with his two goals against Canada in the previous game.
Leandro Trossard has been in incredible form for Brighton in the Premier League this season and with Belgium struggling I think he has to start in this game. Trossard is 3/1 to score anytime which looks like a good value here.
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