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World Cup: Group F preview

European duo Belgium and Croatia are joined in World Cup Group F by Canada and Morocco.

Belgium are favourites at 8/15 to win the group, ahead of 2018 World Cup runners-up Croatia at 5/2, with Morocco 10/1 to finish top and Canada are the 12/1 outsiders.

WhatWorld Cup
WhereQatar
When20th November - 18th December 2022
How to watchAll matches will be shown on either the BBC or ITV
OddsBrazil 9/2, England 11/2, France 6/1, Argentina 7/1, Spain 8/1

Belgium, with world class players like Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku, are the powerhouses of the group and will have designs on not just winning the section but being crowned world champions overall in Qatar, for which they are available at 14/1.

Croatia exceeded expectations to reach the final four years ago and still boast a talented squad, although key players like Luka Modric, who will be 37 when the tournament takes place, and Ivan Perisic, 33, are in the veteran stage of their careers.

Croatia are 50/1 to win the World Cup and 3/1 to reach the quarter-finals.

Morocco failed to win a game and were knocked out in the group stage in Russia. They have recently appointed Walid Regragui as their new head coach after previous boss Vahid Halilhodzic reportedly fell out with several senior players, including Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech, who announced his shock retirement from international football earlier this year.

They are 2/1 to qualify out of the group and 7/1 to reach the quarters.

Canada are preparing to take part in just their second-ever World Cup finals and will hope to do better than their first appearance at the global showpiece, which resulted in a group stage exit in Mexico in 1986.

Coached by English boss John Herdman, the Canadians are 11/4 to make it out of the group this time and 9/1 to reach the quarter-finals.

Who has been drawn in Group F?

CountryManagerCaptainBest Ever Finish

Odds To Qualify From
Group F

Odds To Win
Group F

BelgiumRoberto MartinezEden HazardThird place (2018)1/98/15
CroatiaZlatko DalicLuka ModricRunners-up (2018)4/75/2
MoroccoWalid RegraguiRomain SaissLast-16 (1986)2/110/1
CanadaJohn HerdmanAtiba HutchinsonGroup stage (1986)11/412/1

Belgium, who are ranked second in the world, qualified for Qatar after finishing top of UEFA's Group E. The Red Devils were unbeaten in qualification, winning six of their eight matches to finish five points clear of next-best Wales.

Croatia finished top of Group H in the UEFA process, a point clear of Russia, to secure their place in the tournament, losing just one game along the way.

Morocco initially won Group I in the CAF qualification route with a perfect six from six record. The Atlas Lions then beat DR Congo 5-2 on aggregate in the play-off round, triumphing 4-1 at home after being held to a 1-1 draw away.

After winning Group B in the CONCACAF first round qualifying stage, Canada then beat Haiti 4-0 over two legs in the second round to take their place in the main third round stage. Herdman's side impressed to finish top of a group containing eight countries, including Mexico, USA and Costa Rica.

When are the Group F fixtures?

DateMatch numberTeam 1Team 2KO timeVenue
23rd November12MoroccoCroatia10:00

Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor

23rd November13BelgiumCanada19:00

Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan

27th November26BelgiumMorocco13:00

Al Thumama Stadium, Doha

27th November

27CroatiaCanada16:00

Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan

1st December

41CroatiaBelgium15:00

Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan

1st December

42CanadaMorocco15:00

Al Thumama Stadium, Doha

The group gets under way on 23rd November when Morocco play Croatia and then Belgium take on Canada.

Belgium's second game is against Morocco four days later in Doha, the same day Croatia and Canada meet in Al Rayyan.

The big two in Group F, Croatia and Canada, meet in Al Rayyan on 1st December aiming to seal qualification for the knockout stages if they haven’t already, while Canada and Morocco will hope their tournaments are still alive when they go head-to-head in the final round of matches in the group.

Related World Cup Group F News

World Cup - Football: Belgium team profile

World Cup - Football: Canada team profile

World Cup - Football: Croatia team profile

World Cup - Football: Morocco team profile

Who are the players to look out for in Group F?

Belgium are blessed with a whole host of top global stars, including Manchester City ace De Bruyne, Inter forward Lukaku and Real Madrid playmaker Eden Hazard.

De Bruyne is 50/1 to be the top-scorer in the tournament, Lukaku is 20/1.

Martinez can also call upon experienced Premier League players such as Youri Tielemans and Leander Dendoncker, while Real Madrid keeper Thibaut Courtois is their No.1 and other key men include Borussia Dortmund's Thorgan Hazard and Atletico Madrid wideman Yannick Carrasco.

Croatia's ageing stars are well known, with Real Madrid midfielder Modric set to grace another World Cup after being named player of the tournament four years ago. Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic and Inter star Marcelo Brozovic are among their other household names.

New Morocco boss Regragui is reportedly hoping to persuade Ziyech to reverse his decision to retire from international football at the age of just 29 and if he is successful, the Chelsea man will hope to shine for his country in Qatar.

Canada forward Cyle Larin, who plays for Club Brugge, was the overall top scorer with 13 goals in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying section and recently became his country's all-time leading scorer with 24 strikes.

Other familiar names set to be in the Canada squad include Bayern Munich midfielder Alphonso Davies and Lille forward Jonathan David.

Who could be the breakout stars in Group F?

Full-back Josip Stanisic is trying to establish himself at German champions Bayern Munich and could catch the eye for Croatia if he's given a chance in Qatar after picking up five caps so far.

Amadou Onana earned a summer move to Everton and the 21-year-old midfielder, who only made his full debut for Belgium in June, will hope to prove he is good enough for a starting place at the World Cup.

Who will win Group F?

Belgium are widely expected to come out on top in Group F as the highest-ranked European country in the world should have far too much for Canada and Morocco.

Croatia surprised plenty by reaching the final four years ago and will be confident of finishing in one of the two qualification places for the knockout stage this time around.

Morocco sit 23rd in FIFA's World rankings and could be the surprise package in the group. They will realistically hope to challenge for second place at best behind Belgium.

Canada impressed in qualifying for the tournament but this is a significant step up for a team ranked 43rd in the world and they're likely to be heading home early.

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