Croatia vs Belgium: 2022 World Cup, Group Stage Match Preview, and Dream11 Predictions

Group F favourites Belgium face the prospect of elimination at the first hurdle of the 2022 World Cup when they take on Croatia at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium on Thursday.

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Avignyan Mukhopadhyay
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Croatia vs Belgium: 2022 World Cup, Group Stage Match Preview, and Dream11 Predictions

Croatia vs Belgium on Thursday afternoon in a meeting between two medallists from the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Match Details:

  • Location: Ar-Rayyan, Qatar
  • Stadium: Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium
  • Date: Thursday 1 December
  • Kick-off Time: 8:30 PM IST
  • Watch: Sports 18/HD, JIO Cinema App

Croatia vs Belgium: Match Preview:

If the rather drab nature of the narrow win over Canada was emphasised by how Croatia smashed the Maple Leafs on the weekend, Belgium's poor form hit rock bottom with a deserved defeat at the hands of Morocco.



— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) November 29, 2022

It means either a win or a draw combined with a heavy Moroccan defeat are required to send the Red Devils through as their highly-talented squad stares down the barrel of losing their final realistic chance at winning the World Cup.



— HNS (@HNS_CFF) November 29, 2022

Having also dropped points to the Atlas Lions, Croatia need a result to guarantee progression to the last-16.

Team News:

Croatia:

Nikola Vlasic started Croatia's opener against Morocco but was removed with a calf problem at half-time. The West Ham loanee recovered to make the bench against Canada but his replacement, Marko Livaja, delivered a strong argument to retain his starting berth with a crisply struck goal.



— HNS (@HNS_CFF) November 29, 2022

The arrival of a traditional striker shifted Andrej Kramaric to the right wing, where he scored twice on Sunday afternoon.

Belgium:

Romelu Lukaku was deemed fit enough to come on for the final ten minutes of Belgium's surprise defeat to Morocco. The Inter striker hasn't started a match for club or country since August and may still be short of the fitness required to lead the line. However, with another four days to continue his recovery, Lukaku could make a longer cameo at least.



— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) November 29, 2022

Amadou Onana will play no part after collecting a second, suspension-inducing booking against the Atlas Lions.

Croatia vs Belgium: Head to Head:

The two teams have locked horns nine times across all competitions and just two of these games have been friendlies. The head-to-head record is even at the moment, with three wins apiece for both teams and two games ending in draws.

Belgium have been the better team in recent meetings against their southern rivals and are undefeated in the last three games, picking up two wins in a row. Just three of their eight meetings have produced over 2.5 goals.

Predicted Line-ups:

Croatia Starting 11 (4-3-3): Livakovic; Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa; Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic; Kramaric, Livaja, Perisic.

Bench: Grbic, Ivusic, Erlic, Vida, Sutalo, Barisic, Stanisic, Jakic, Sucic, Majer, Osric, Pasalic, Petkovic, Budimir, Vlasic.

Belgium Starting 11 (3-4-2-1): Courtois; Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Castagne; Meunier, Tielemans, Witsel, Trossard; De Bruyne, E Hazard; Batshuayi.

Bench: Casteels, Mignolet, Debast, Faes, Theate, Dendoncker, Vanaken, De Ketelaere, T Hazard, Carrasco, Doku, Lukaku, Mertens, Openda.

CRO vs BEL: Dream11 Predictions:

Image- Dream11

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