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World Cup 2022 Groups Preview: November 23
Nov 22, 2022, 2:20:00 AM

World Cup 2022 Groups Preview: November 23


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The competition continues to heat up at the 2022 World Cup groups stage. Teams from Groups E and F aim to showcase their best performances in the November 23 fixtures. Find out which teams are playing here.


The matches scheduled for November 23 have some fantastic stars playing including Germany’s Kai Havertz, Belgium’s Kevin De Bruyne, Canada’s Alphonso Davies, and many more. Catch all of these exciting games in this loaded fixture list. 


Contender showdown: Morocco vs Croatia

Game: Morocco vs Croatia


Time: 10AM (GMT)


Location: Al Bayt Stadium


Morocco is one of the best national football teams in Africa. They finished in the group stages four times back in 1970, 1994, 1998, and 2018 editions. The farthest they have reached in the competition was the Round of 16 in the 1986 edition where they finished 11th overall. 


Meanwhile, Croatia is one of the rising teams in the world. Their strides in the football competition have been impressive over the years, with their first run in 1998 seeing them in third place. The only year they didn’t qualify was in the 2010 edition but they followed it up with 19th overall in 2014 and most recently, the runners-up for the 2018 edition.

Head-to-head stats

Morocco is currently riding a three-game winning streak and has been unbeaten in four matches in a row. The only loss they had in their five-game stretch is against the United States at 3-0. Morocco uses a 4-4-2 lineup to cover both ends of the pitch, and it has allowed them to get more creative plays and faster responses on the defensive side.


Croatia, on the other hand, has enjoyed a streak of five wins. They even defeated France in a 1-0 Nations League showdown, which says a lot about the squad’s form. The 2018 runners-up are known for their 4-3-3 formation that has been tweaked to focus on the attack, allowing them to overwhelm teams with fast-paced attacks.

Players to watch

Two of Morocco’s strongest players are expected to lead the team in this match. 

  • Youssef En-Nesyri - The top star is expected to take the lead in scoring big goals for Morocco’s offensive unit. 

  • Ayoub El Kaabi - The Morocco wingman must also step up to take some pressure off the lead star to generate goals

These are Croatia’s top players you should watch out for. 

  • Bono - The goal-saving antics of the rising star will also come into play for the squad to counter the attacks from a highly-offensive squad like Croatia.

  • Ivan Perisic - The lead star has the ability to cut through the defensive end, making it easy for Croatia to poke a hole anytime they want. 

  • Luka Modric - Croatia’s captain will have no problem in trying to find their way around Morocco’s defensive lines with Modric leading the way in penetration all the way into the box.

Who has a better chance to win?

Croatia is set as the clear favourite to win. The runners-up have kept the same core as before, which means that they have better chemistry and experience playing on the big stage. Morocco will need to hold their ground and come up with some lucky shots if they plan to win.


See the odds on Croatia’s chances to win against Morocco

Blitz and flashy clash: Germany vs Japan

Game: Germany vs Japan


Time: 1PM (GMT)


Location: Khalifa International Stadium


After their winning campaign in the 2014 edition, Germany fell short in the 2018 edition as the squad only finished 22nd overall in the Group stage. Now they are eager to take their chances and push for a deeper finish with Hansi Flick leading the way.


Japan is one of the few countries that has managed to play in the FIFA World Cup at a consistent level since the 1998 edition. The best finish they’ve enjoyed was in 2010 where they placed ninth overall in the Round of 16. The Samurai Blue finished in the same round in the 2018 edition but placed 15th overall instead.

Head-to-head stats

Germany and Japan have played a total of two games overall (excluding the West Germany matches) and both are international friendlies with Germany winning in 2004 before a draw in 2006. Fans expect a fast-paced showdown with both teams gunning for three points in the Group Stages, making it a thrilling match for hyped football fans around.


The last six games for Germany have been shaky. They are 2-3-1 in that stretch following a recent win against Oman at 1-0. Their 4-2-3-1 formation has been lethal at most, and they have done a great job of switching the attacker position with a rotation of players. Their defence is stunning thanks to their quick shifts in the line.


Japan won three of their last five games. The Samurai Blue utilises the 4-3-3 line to come up with a strong offensive unit. They press the third line well to give attack players support, which in turn leads to more effective goals but risks leaving the box open for the goalkeeper to defend alone.

Players to watch

You can find plenty of top performing players in Germany, and here’s two of the best ones you should watch out for.

  • Kai Havertz - He is the ace for Germany’s success in their recent games. The forward is also a threat on the attack at all times.

  • Manuel Neuer - The captain’s defensive presence and brilliance have never waned over time, giving Germany the best of both worlds in their games. This makes them a formidable opponent to face especially on the big stage.

Japan has to rely on their star players to pull off an upset against contenders like Germany. Here’s one of their star players that you can expect to pop off in the match.

  • Maya Yoshida - The lead star is all about covering the defensive end and then following it up with a counter-attack. Japan needs his speed and better defensive awareness against a top contender in the World Cup.

Who has a better chance to win?

Japan is set as the underdog for this match. Germany may just pull off another stunning finish if Japan fails to block off all of their weak points and exploit Die Mannschaft’s small spacing due to their fast-paced plays.


Place your wagers on Germany’s upcoming clash with Japan

New era: Spain vs Costa Rica

Game: Spain vs Costa Rica


Time: 4PM (GMT)


Location: Al Thumama Stadium


As one of the classic titans of the sport, Spain is expected to make their landmark return to the World Cup. This is a transitional period for them because they have developed some of their young talents and turned them into elite players. On the other side, Costa Rica has quietly improved through the years and has proven they belong on the World Cup stage. 

Head to head stats 

Spain and Costa Rica have played three games against each other before this 2022 World Cup match-up. Spain has won easily in two of these games. Their first match was in 2011, ending with a 2-2 draw. In the following two duels, Spain have dominated with a 2-1 and a 5-0 wins. 


Costa Rica has gradually grown into a formidable team with their focus on defence in a 4-4-2 formation. Their goalkeeper will take care of stopping the shots while their midfielders and strikers will rely on their pace. 


On the other hand, Spain will use a classic 4-3-3 formation which will be reliant on their passing. The Spanish veterans will have to teach their youngsters to use a mix of pace and precise passing to catch any defender off guard.

Players to watch  

Both of these teams have some talented players on their squads that deserve the spotlight for this World Cup run. Here are the top stars of the Spanish squad: 

  • Ferran Torres - The young forward continues to improve with time. Torres has already proven he’s a premier talent with goal-scoring and playmaking. He is set to be a focal point for the foreseeable future.

  • Rodri - Playmaking and defending is a challenging mix and Rodri has proven to be a solid amalgamation of both, especially for Spain. 

  • Ansu Fati - The young phenom is prepared to prove his amazing skill set and potential at the biggest stage for Spain at the World Cup.

These are the Costa Rican stars that might lead an underdog win over Spain:

  • Keylor Navas - A well-known goalkeeper across European leagues, Navas is an elite shot-stopper. He is Costa Rica’s most reliable goalkeeper and that will be on display against Spain. 

  • Joel Campbell - As the most experienced forward for Costa Rica, Campbell will be relied upon to be the goalscorer. He already has 25 goals to his name and he will look to add onto this tally.

Who has a better chance to win? 

Spain is undoubtedly the clear favourite to win this game against Costa Rica. Spain has proven that they can reach another level at the World Cup and this will be a vital part of the youngsters’ development. The likes of Gavi, Pedri, and Fati will have more World Cup stints under their belt, they just need to start strong at their first one. 


Make wagers on the Spain vs Costa Rica matchup

Clash of the titans: Belgium vs Canada 

Game: Belgium vs Canada


Time: 7PM (GMT)


Location: Al Rayyan Stadium


Belgium is already seen as a top team but Canada can reach that level if they can continue on this path from year to year. Look at how they can fare in this match and check out their top players who can lead them to this showdown.

Head to head stats

These two teams have only played once against each other which was way back in 1989. That match ended in a 2-0 win for Belgium. 


Belgium will likely employ a 3-4-2-1 formation which will maximise the striker. Since Belgium has phenomenal playmakers on the wings and the midfield, the striker will have a fun time as the classic target man. 


On the other hand, Canada will employ a 4-3-3 formation. They want to make use of the pacey wingers so their striker will have opportunities to score. They will also rely on the midfield to stabilise the possessions for the striker to take advantage of the lulls and holes in the defence.

Players to watch

Both teams have players that need to be given the spotlight because they have produced some fantastic talent that will be present at the World Cup, specifically in this match. First off, Belgium has some magnificent players in their squad, headlined by these standouts. 

  • Romelu Lukaku - As one of the most consistent strikers in the world, Lukaku will be a reliable goal-scorer, especially if he can overpower the defenders. 

  • Kevin De Bruyne - Arguably the best playmaker in the world, KDB has continuously proven he’s an elite passer and when he needs to, he can score goals. 

  • Eden Hazard - While he has faced constant injuries, Hazard is healthy for the World Cup and will be the captain. He is ready to prove he’s still a star player.

On the other hand, Canada has been stellar in recent years with how they have developed some of their top players. Here are some of them:

  • Cyle Larin - Since he is playing in the Belgium First Division for Club Brugge, Larin will have experience playing against the Belgian players. He is one of the best goal-scorers for Canada which means he’s a goal-scoring threat. 

  • Alphonso Davies - His role varies for Canada as he can play a full-back role or even a winger when needed. He will be a valuable cog for this Canadian system.

  • Jonathan David - One of the brightest talents in recent years, David has been stellar for Canada and his club, Lille which they hope can happen again at the World Cup.

Who has a better chance to win? 

Since Belgium has a more experienced and talented team, they are the favourite to win this match. Canada has solid potential at the moment, but Belgium is expected to perform better in this game.


Wager on this amazing clash between Belgium and Canada

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Words: Cholo Martin



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