World no.2 and 2018 FIFA World Cup's 3rd placed team, Belgium will be looking to seal a place in the next round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup when they lock horns with Morocco in a Group F fixture on Sunday at Al Thumama Stadium. The form that the two teams displayed in their respective opening matches of the tournament suggest that this should be a tightly contested match.
World No 2 and the third-placed team in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Belgium will be looking to seal a place in the next round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup when they lock horns with Morocco in a Group F fixture on Sunday at Al Thumama Stadium.
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Belgium head into the match against Morocco on the back of a scrappy win against Canada in their opening match of the tournament. Forward Michy Batshuayi scored after goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois saved a penalty from Canadian fullback Alphonso Davies as Belgium completed a lackluster show against their North American rivals.
But Belgium will have to put up a much better show against Morocco if they fancy their chances of a win.
Before Belgium's tame win over Canada, Morocco demonstrated that they are not in Qatar just to make numbers. The team from North Africa put up an inspired performance against Luka Modric-led Croatia Croatia and held the 2018 finalists for a goalless draw. The two teams had their chances to score goals with Nikola Vlasic going close for Croatia at the end of the first half while Noussair Mazraoui had a header saved for Morocco.
Belgium's win and Morocco's draw meant that the Red Devils are at the top of Group F while Morocco and Croatia are joint second, before the start of the group's second round of fixtures.
Morocco are playing their sixth FIFA World Cup finals. They earned the right to be in Qatar on the back of a superb qualifying campaign as they won all six matches and then clinched a two-legged play-off against Congo. Given some quality players in the side and their ability to put up a gutsy show against stronger opposition, Morocco can cause problems for Belgium. Despite the lackadaisical show against Canada, Belgium have won 7 of their last 8 matches in the FIFA World Cup.
Belgium are poised to meet Croatia in their final group game, so they will be eyeing a win over Morocco to avoid any desperations against their European rivals.
Form Guide (last five matches)
Matches played: 3
Belgium wins: 2
Morocco win: 1
Belgium team news
A thigh injury denied striker Romelu Lukaku game time against Canada. He is not expected to even be on the bench against Morocco. He is the only concern for Belgium coach Roberto Martinez.
Morocco team news
Morocco have quite a few injury issues to deal with. Defender Noussair Mazraoui, and mid-fielders Abdelhamid Sabiri and Abdessamad Ezzalzouli are all out of reckoning in the matchday squad due to their injuries.
Possible starting XIs
Belgium possible starting XI
Courtois, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Dendoncker, Meunier, Onana, Witsel, Carrasco, De Bruyne, E. Hazard, Batshuayi
Morocco possible starting XI
Bounou, Hakimi, Aguerd, Saiss, Mazraoui, Ounahi, Amrabat, Amallah, Ziyech, En-Nesyri, Boufal
Betting odds (bet365)
Belgium win: 19/2
Morocco win: 14/5
The form that the two teams displayed in their respective opening matches of the tournament suggest that this should be a tightly contested match. In the end, Belgium could edge past Morocco by a solitary goal.
Where to watch and kick-off timing:
The match will kick off at 6:30 pm IST on Sunday, November 27 and will be telecast live on Sports18 and Sports18 HD. Fans can also stream the action online on the JioCinema app.
(Edited by : Jerome Anthony)
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