As the 2022 World Cup kick-off inches ever closer, we look at world cup Group F and what we’re likely to see from this quartet of teams in Qatar.
Belgium Group F Favorites
For four solid years, Belgium sat pretty at the top of FIFA’s rankings for men’s international football. That’s no longer the case, as the honor has now with Brazil. However, the Belgians will reach the last 16 as winners of world cup Group F. The Red Devils’ current crop of players is regarded by many as the country’s “golden generation,” and rightly so. Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard, and Kevin De Bruyne are world beaters and have contributed to making Belgium one of the world’s most fantastic teams. They’ve played mesmerizing football down the years, the only significant negative being that Hazard and co. have not yet tasted any silverware of note. Belgium’s golden generation finished third in Russia in 2018 and lost out in the quarter-finals of Euro 2020, when they would reasonably expect to carry home at least one of those trophies. It’s a situation that has prompted speculation that head coach Roberto Martinez’s job could be at risk. It’s a natural thing in modern coaching, and rather than fretting over his future, the former Everton trainer’s only concern is doing well in Qatar.
“Everyone can be sure; my only wish is that we will see Belgium as strong as possible at the World Cup,” he said. “I want to make the fans as proud as possible. All my work will go into this in the coming months. We’ll see after the World Cup. In international football, it is logical to look at its [coach’s future] from major tournament to major tournament. There is nothing strange about that.”
Martinez’s Devils will be doubly motivated this time in Qatar and can be backed at a nice 4/7 (-175) to win world cup Group F. You can find them at 11/1 (+1100) to emerge as the world’s alpha dog after the December 18 showpiece.
Croatia Face Battle For Second
Croatia surprised the world with a fantastic run that led them to the final of World Cup 2018 in Russia. No one could’ve expected them to make it that far. Is it possible for them to wow us with a repeat of that in 2022? Well, it’s certainly not impossible – nothing in football ever is – but fairy tales happen only once in a lifetime. With Belgium unlikely to flunk out at the group stage, Croatia faces an uphill battle for the remaining slot to reach the last 16. Team captain and talisman Luka Modric, who will be 37 years old at the tourney, is still performing inspirational performances for club and country and was instrumental as Real Madrid won the Champions League in 2022. However, his midfield accomplice, Ivan Rakitić, who was vital for Croatia in 2018, has since hung up his boots. Morocco, ranked 22nd (vs. Croatia’s 15th), will want their presence felt in Qatar. They are African heavyweights and will look to represent the continent proudly. You can’t discount Canada, either. Their CONCACAF Qualifying victories over rivals United States and Mexico were historical and have forced the world to sit up and take notice. The Canadians arrive in Qatar in fine fettle and with players like Alphonso Davies, Cyle Larin, and Jonathan David, who have the impetus to trouble higher-ranked nations. Croatia is 14/19 (-136) to reach the last 16 and 66/1 (+6600) to win the 2022 World Cup. You can also get Morocco to the previous 16 at 17/2 (+850) and Canada at 11/1 (+1100).