The two semi-finalists of the 2018 World Cup meet in Group F. You’re dealing with two ambitious outsiders who have big plans.
At first glance, Group F lacks a truly large football nation. But on second glance you can see the two semi-finalists of the 2018 World Cup and two extremely ambitious outsiders who can make the group the heaviest and most balanced too.
Belgium, The golden generation of football has been talked about for many years in Belgium. With good reason, if you look at the squad of the Belgian national team. But the Belgians have never been able to play a role as eternal secret favorites in major tournaments. It looked like a huge success at the 2018 World Cup, but the Red Devils ultimately failed in the semi-finals to eventual world champions France. Belgium’s gold generation has proved that they can compete with the big football nations. Belgium is not one of the absolute top favorites in Qatar, which is why the team somehow remains the secret favorite only in the 2022 World Cup, despite being ranked second in the FIFA world rankings. It is clear that slowly but surely this could be the last chance for Belgium to win a really big title with the golden generation. Defender Jan Vertonghen is 35, midfield director Kevin De Bruyne is 31, as is captain Eden Hazard. At 29, goalkeeper Romelu Lukaku is in football’s best age, but he worries about missing out on the World Cup due to injury. World-class keeper Thibaut Courtois is 30 years old. For Belgium, the 2022 World Cup could be “now or never”. The eternal secret favorite really wants the goldfish generation to sleep.
Portrait of Group F: Vice World Champion meets Canada’s ambitious team
Croatia, Group F includes the two semi-finalists of the 2018 World Cup. The Croatian also reached the final in Russia and became the vice world champion after losing to France. An extraordinary success which was celebrated enthusiastically in the country which is passionate about the game. Four years later, a lot is different with the Croatian national team. Supporters such as Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic have announced their retirement from the national team after the successful World Cup. Many other important players have actually been moving over the years. Captain Luka Modric wants to do it again at 37, like defensive legend Dejan Lovren, 33. Croatia certainly has a powerful team to offer in Qatar, but the team is not among the favourites, despite their status as vice world champions. The national team isn’t called “the furious ones” for nothing. On the pitch the players give their hearts with their respective colours. This places Croatia as the favorites in Group F with Belgium for one of the top two spots and qualifying for the knockout stages.
Canada, From a sporting point of view, ice hockey is clearly the number one sport in Canada. But ahead of the 2022 World Cup, real football hype has emerged in the North American country. The Canada national team played an excellent World Cup qualifier and was impressed by the brilliant football. So Canada’s chances of participating in the second World Cup after 1986 should look much better than they were at the time. In Mexico, they had suffered three defeats in the group stage. The Canadians’ expectation is above Alphonso Davies from FC Bayern. Along with Syl Larin and Jonathan David, Les Rouges (Reds) also have a powerful attacking pairing with two other European giants. With these conditions, progress to Group F seems possible despite two tough opponents.
Morocco, Morocco made World Cup history in 1986. Lions became the first African nation to reach the knockout stage of the World Cup. It was the end of the last sixteen against Germany, with Lothar Mathhaus winning 1–0 shortly before the end. As a result, Morocco was able to qualify for the World Cup final three times, most recently in 2018, but was always eliminated in the group stage. It would be surprising if this trend breaks in the 2022 World Cup, but it is not impossible. The Moroccan team is filled with players with experience in Europe’s top leagues. The team’s star is Achraf Hakimi, who plays for Paris Saint-Germain and is one of the best full-backs in the world. Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech, who had actually already announced his career in the national team, could be on the offensive. The situation has changed since Walid Regragui took over as coach at the end of August.
Group F: Schedule for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar
- Morocco , Croatia, November 23, 2022 at 11:00 am
- Belgium , Canada, November 23, 2022 at 8:00 pm
- Belgium , Morocco, November 27, 2022 at 2:00 pm
- Croatia , Canada, November 27, 2022 at 5:00 PM
- Croatia , Belgium, December 1, 2022 at 4:00 PM
- Canada , Morocco, December 1, 2022 at 4:00 PM
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