Croatia vs. Belgium Predictions, Odds, World Cup 01/12/2022

Croatia vs. Belgium predictions, preview and betting tips

Two of the planet’s best teams, Croatia and Belgium, will face off Thursday in a pivotal Group F match. Kick-off is slated for 10 a.m. ET at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar.

Both countries have yet to qualify for the knockout stages. Croatia (1-0-1) needs a draw to advance but will want to win and score goals in order to win the group and have a better goal differential than Morocco. 

Belgium (1-1-0) will likely need all three points to advance since Morocco is lining up against the weakest team in the group — Canada. The Red Devils haven’t brought their best football to Qatar and are in danger of missing out on the Round of 16 for the first time since 1998.

There seems to be a bit of disdain between Kevin De Bruyne and Jan Vertonghen in the locker room. After the country’s 1-0 win over Canada, De Bruyne stated his squad didn’t have a chance at lifting the Jules Rimet Trophy due to old age.

Vertonghen took offense to these comments and responded in an interview after the tournament. Roberto Martinez will have to quash the fracas and have his team in unison if he wants to succeed against Croatia. 

Players to watch in the Croatia vs. Belgium contest

Croatia

Ivan Perisic: The 33-year-old has been instrumental to Croatia’s success over his 11-year international career. The dynamic winger has earned the third most caps in his nation’s history (118) behind Croatian legends Luka Modric (157) and Darijo Srna. Perisic provided two assists in his team’s 4-1 win over Canada.

Belgium

Kevin De Bruyne: At Manchester City (60 goals in 221 appearances), De Bruyne has lifted four Premier League trophies and accomplished many feats. The attacking center midfielder has come close with Belgium in tournaments but will have to put on a special performance to keep Belgium’s hopes alive while he carries the weight of the country on his shoulders. 

Croatia vs. Belgium World Cup prediction

Best Croatia vs. Belgium predictions and odds

ESTNN’s soccer analysts will provide two Croatia vs. Belgium betting tips in the following section.

Croatia vs. Belgium prediction: Croatia draw no bet @ -110 (DraftKings)

De Bruyne’s blunt comments may not have been the brightest idea in terms of affecting the team’s morale, but through two matches he appears to have told the truth. The team has looked slow from head to toe and has been outmatched in its first two outings.

Against Canada, Martinez’s men were outshot (22-9) and found themselves defending for the majority of the 90 minutes. Michy Batshuayi slotted home the winner in the 46th minute and Thibaut Courtois received the man of the match after saving an Alphonso Davies spot kick.

In Matchday two, the Red Devils were outclassed by Morocco 2-0. Both teams recorded 10 shots but Belgium didn’t look threatening on the attack. 

Captain Eden Hazard has looked poorly and has turned the ball over in critical moments when trying to move on the opposition’s backline. The 31-year-old can’t earn regular minutes at Real Madrid and might be appearing in the final swansong for his country.

The Belgians will need their talisman, Romelu Lukaku, to play in the match to help generate offense. The Inter Milan striker missed the opener and came on as a sub against Morocco.

Croatia put on a masterful display in its 4-1 win over Canada on Sunday. Davies gave the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead in the second minute of play but the Vatreni responded with four unanswered goals.

Zlatko Dalic’s side recorded 10 shots on target during the victory compared to the North American country’s two. The Croats also controlled the midfield against Morocco, possessing the ball for 65% of the match. 

Croatia’s roster has more depth than Belgium’s and is led by 2018 Ballon D’ Or winner Luka Modric and dynamic winger Ivan Perisic. Young center-back Josko Gvardiol is one of the world’s rising stars on defense.

In their previous five matches, the Croats are 4-0-1 while the Belgians’ record is 2-3-0. If Belgium had trouble scoring and keeping pace with Canada and Morocco, it’s going to be a long day against the Vatreni. Our pick at ESTNN is to take DraftKings’ draw no-bet wager at -110 odds.

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Croatia vs. Belgium odds: Andrej Kramaric over 0.5 shots on target @ -175 (BetRivers)

The main goal threat for Croatia so far in the World Cup has been Kramaric. The striker scored two goals in Croatia’s 4-1 triumph over Canada.

Through two games, Kramaric has three shots on target with an average of 1.90 per 90 minutes and is putting his attempts on goal 60% of the time. In the Bundesliga, the 31-year-old is averaging .70 shots on target per match for Hoffenheim.

Belgium’s weak defense has surrendered 32 shots in two matches thus far. Kramaric will have plenty of opportunities on Wednesday to beat the prop.

BetRivers is offering -175 odds for the wager on its sportsbook. If you’re interested in reading about more betting lines in Qatar, visit our World Cup predictions page.

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Group F preview and other World Cup matches

While the two medalists from the 2018 World Cup lock horns, Morocco will simultaneously play Canada. Morocco is the second betting favorite to advance from the group at -900 while Belgium sits at +125. The Canadians have mathematically eliminated their odds due to their two losses.