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World Cup 2022 Groups Preview: December 1
Nov 30, 2022, 3:36:00 AM

World Cup 2022 Groups Preview: December 1

The World Cup's group stage is set to end soon, and the matches continue to bring huge surprises to fans. Catch the December 1 matches with some of the most exciting matchups, like Spain and Japan.

Fans are thrilled to see teams from Groups E and F field their best players and showcase their talents. Since these matches will be important for their group stage placing, they will play their hearts out. Witness how teams from both groups will duke it out and make your bets on them at 

Titanic duel: Croatia vs Belgium

Game: Croatia vs Belgium

Time: 3 PM (GMT)

Location: Al-Rayyan Stadium

Two of the best-performing teams in the 2018 World Cup, Croatia and Belgium, are ready to clash in this competition again. They are two of the best teams Europe has to offer, and they are ready to prove that in this match. 

Head-to-head stats 

Croatia and Belgium have played against each other eight times. Four matches have come in the World Cup qualification stage, which made for exciting matchups. They have an even record across the board, with three wins respectively and two draws.

Tactically, these two teams are matched well and will be each other's, tough opponents. For Croatia, they will likely use a 4-3-3 formation which will take advantage of their playmaking in the midfield and their pace in the forward line.

On the other side, Belgium usually sets up a 3-4-3 formation. They want to control the ball in the midfield and set the table for the rest of the match. Their forwards can adapt well to this as they will love to pressure the opponent's main playmakers.

Players to watch 

Croatia and Belgium have two of the most talented squads in the world. They have tons of regular players in the biggest soccer clubs, making for a high-quality match. Here are Croatia's best players:

  • Luka Modrić - Croatia's midfield maestro is here, and he will look to conduct his team's offence. He will dribble around the pitch as he tries to locate his teammates. His passing will be the biggest part of his game, but you should also look at his leadership. 

  • Marcelo Brozović - Another midfield star, Brozovic continues to be an underrated playmaker. He is the stable midfielder any team will need, as he can set the tone for Croatia by controlling the pace.

On the other side, Belgium has some fantastic players in their lineup: 

  • Kevin De Bruyne - Arguably the best player on the pitch, KDB is a fantastic attacking midfielder for this team. He can dictate the offence to his favoured pace as he makes pinpoint passes, and when needed, he can also score his own goals. 

  • Thibaut Courtois - A key figure as the primary goalkeeper, Courtois has already proven he's a top shot-stopper for his Belgium squad. If his defence lets the forwards get through, Courtois will be the final wall that will have to be beaten for goals.

Who has a better chance of winning? 

This is the closest matchup yet in the World Cup, and it will be a thrill ride. Croatia has a slight edge over their Belgian rivals. However, it can easily go the other way too. This is a matchup that every soccer fan should watch because the midfield duel between Modrić and KDB will be a must-watch part of the game. There is a chance that this will end in a draw, but Croatia has the upper hand in the meantime. 

Bet on this close matchup between Croatia and Belgium

On the rise: Canada vs Morocco 

Game: Canada vs Morocco

Time: 3 PM (GMT)

Location: Al Thumama Stadium

Both Canada and Morocco became two of the most promising teams that can compete in the World Cup. They already have some skilled players on their squads, and their program is primed to develop more talent in the future with these young players. 

Head-to-head stats 

These two teams have played each other three times, with Morocco being the dominant side. Canada has only mustered one draw as they have lost the other two matches. They would like to change that record with a win on the World Cup stage. 

Fans look forward to seeing how this match will turn out, especially from a tactical perspective. Both teams want to run and go on the counter-attack, but they have differences in their formations. For Canada, they will use a 3-5-2 formation where they would love to push the pace from the midfield. 

On the other hand, Morocco has two formations they favour: the 4-1-4-1 and 4-3-3. These focus on the midfield and control of the ball for the duration of the match. They also love the value of bombarding wing-backs as they can boost the quality of their offence. 

Players to watch 

Canada and Morocco have talented players that deserve the spotlight, starting with the Maple Leafs' biggest stars: 

  • Alphonso Davies - Davies plays as a speedy playmaker for Canada. He has thrived in this role because he can keep making plays and score goals when needed due to his proficiency as an attacker.

  • Jonathan David - He is a reliable striker that will keep scoring goals for Canada as long as he receives accurate passes. At 22, he is ready to serve as the national team's iconic striker for the foreseeable future.

On the other side, these are the top stars of Morocco: 

  • Achraf Hakimi - The wing-back will be the primary playmaker for Morocco. Still, he can also serve as the stopper for the wingers, especially Davies, who will be speedy on the left wing, which is Hakimi's responsibility as a right-back. 

  • Hakim Ziyech - Ziyech is a creative winger that will be important for the Moroccan side. He will be a star passer but can score goals on set pieces, especially free kicks. 

Who has a better chance of winning? 

Morocco is the favourite to win this match, but Canada has a big chance of competing. This is a fantastic opportunity to catch two teams on the road to becoming world-class squads battling with the best. In the meantime, Morocco will rely on their top players so they can keep winning and make it far into the World Cup's knockout stages. 

Place your wager on this matchup between Canada and Mexico

Battle at the top: Japan vs Spain

Game: Japan vs Spain

Time: 7 PM (GMT)

Location: Khalifa International Stadium 

Group E is one of the most competitive groups in this World Cup because of Japan and Spain. The Samurai Blue has pulled off impressive performances, and Spain has looked like their old form with their passing and high-octane offence. Now, they are set to clash in one of the most hyped-up matches of the event. 

Head-to-head stats 

Japan and Spain only met once in an international friendly match in 2001. La Roja came away with the win in a 1-0 victory. Japan aims to turn the tables and make history in this year's World Cup. They've already started that with their 2-1 win against Germany on November 23. 

Tactics-wise, Japan will use a 4-2-3-1 formation which will have a good balance between offence and defence. They have set roles for the playmakers for the three players because the striker will look to open spaces and score. 

On the other hand, Spain will use their classic 4-3-3 format. They have some speedy players in the front line and the midfield, but their defenders will be stable rocks too. It will be a formation that will work for Spain with its focus on pace. 

Players to watch

In this event, there have been many standouts for both teams as their players have cemented their big-name spots. Here are the first stars that will pop up from the Japanese squad:

  • Daichi Kamada - Creativity is a big factor behind Kamada's playstyle, and he has delivered with his passing and scoring goals. He is an amazing player who will keep being the top star for this country's offence.

  • Takehiro Tomiyasu - He is a well-rounded defender who can play as a full-back and a centre-back. He is physically strong but can also be a smart decision-maker with his defensive style. 

Here are the big stars from Spain's squad:

  • Rodri - He is the most stable player in the midfield, as he can control the pace and use his passing to open up opportunities for his teammates. At the same time, he can also defend when he is needed as a supporting piece. 

  • Pedri - The young midfielder has been the star of Barcelona as a 20-year-old, and he will continue to work hard as Spain's consistent hard worker in the midfield. He will score goals if he has the opportunity, but he will most likely use his dribbling to break free.

Who has a better chance of winning? 

Spain is the overwhelming favourite to win this match, but Japan has already bucked expectations at this event. La Roja has the talent to keep working for the top spot in this group, and with a win over Germany, their confidence will be high. 

However, Spain's poise and talent are a big advantage in itself. It will be one of the most fun matchups in soccer, especially since they have found the groove as a well-oiled machine with youngsters and veterans together.

Make a bet on Japan’s battle with Spain

Staying at the top: Costa Rica vs Germany

Game: Costa Rica vs Germany

Time: 7 PM (GMT)

Location: Al Bayt Stadium

Germany suffered a shocking loss in their first match in the group against Japan. The last World Cup edition in 2018 was disappointing for them, and they want to return to the top of the soccer world. They want to cement themselves as one of the best teams in the World Cup and keep proving their legacy. 

On the other side, Costa Rica will keep battling to cement itself as one of the best teams in the world because they have developed some awesome players in recent years. 

Head-to-head stats 

Costa Rica and Germany only played one game in the 2006 World Cup. It ended with a 4-2 scoreline, which bodes well for this upcoming match since it is in the same competition again. 

Costa Rica will use either a 4-4-2 or a 4-2-3-1 formation. This means they want to coordinate their defence properly with four defenders and multiple midfielders, no matter which formation they will use. This focus on defence will be needed after their harrowing loss to Spain in their first match. 

On the other end, Germany will use a 4-3-2-1 formation of their own. The focus will be on the defensive end, given their struggles in their past two matches against Japan and Spain. Manager Hansi Flick wants to have a strong defence so they can counter-attack against their opponents. His talented players must use their pace and power to bulldoze their way into scoring goals.

Players to watch

Costa Rica has a solid amount of talent in their soccer system. They have always been an underrated country for developing talent, but they have some fantastic players to offer: 

  • Keylor Navas - The star goalkeeper for Costa Rica has played for various world-class clubs, and he is ready to keep his net safe from the German goal-scorers. It will be tough, but he is ready to prove his worth as the big wall. 

  • Bryan Ruiz - The captain and most experienced veteran on the team, Ruiz will be a big presence as an attacking midfielder. He is 37 years old, but he has not lost a step with his speed and his skills. 

These are the star players for the German squad. 

  • Manuel Neuer - The reliable goalkeeper returns for another World Cup match and has been stellar for Germany. He still plays as the sweeper keeper that stops almost any shot, but he is also a valuable leader for the team with his reliability in his role.

  • Thomas Müller - The most underrated playmaker and goal-scorer in recent years, Müller will be important for Germany because he is a stable presence and an explosive player when he gets the momentum. 

Who has a better chance of winning? 

Germany is the heavy favourite to win this match because their squad is loaded with immense talent and abilities. They are an established team that has won multiple World Cups before, and they will look to cement that status in this match. Costa Rica does not have the same quality as this team, but they have a bright future if they keep developing their players. 

Bet on Costa Rica’s match against Germany

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Words: Cholo Martin


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