FIFA World Cup: Thursday 1 December

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FixturePrediction
Croatia vs BelgiumBelgium win drawBet Now
Canada vs MoroccoMorocco winBet Now
Japan vs SpainSpain winBet Now
Costa Rica vs GermanyGermany winBet Now

Croatia vs Belgium

1 December 2022

BCA Prediction: Belgium win or draw (X2)

Croatia have lost just once in their last 18 outings, but they must face world-number side Belgium to secure a place in the next round. Roberto Martinez’s Belgium side have not lived up to their reputation or ranking in this tournament, and it now appears their camp has been hit with internal strife after their loss to Morocco. They have now lost 2 out of their last four competitive games, and the powers of their aging team seem to finally be on the wane.

The Croats only need a draw here to advance to the next round having outclassed Canada in their last match to take their tally to 4 points in this tournament. Zlatko Dalic’s men out-shot Canada 13-5 only a few days after the Canadians had out-shot Belgium 14-6. Croatia have remained unbeaten in their last seven competitive fixtures, winning five and drawing two.  In those seven games, they have scored 12 goals and conceded only four times.

This match is basically a knockout game for Belgium, with any result other than a win likely to lead to elimination. However, their recent sketchy form and the fact that they will be chasing a victory could play into the hands of the Belgians. Andrej Kramaric now has eight goals for his country in his last 14 appearances, and with Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic, and Mateo Kovacic controlling the midfield, he is likely to find more joy against the old Belgian defence.

Key Takeaways:

  • Croatia have lost just 1 of their last eighteen competitive fixtures.
  • Belgium have lost 2 of their last four competitive matches.
  • Andrej Kramaric has scored 8 goals in his last 14 appearances for Croatia.

Canada vs Morocco

1 December 2022

BCA Prediction: Morocco win

Morocco’s scintillating 2-0 win over Belgium has put them on the cusp of qualification, with a draw being enough to see them over the line here. Walid Regragui’s men are one of only 3 sides – along with Poland and Brazil – who are yet to concede a goal at the end of the second round of fixtures. This has been a continuation of an incredible run that has seen them remain unbeaten in their last 25 competitive fixtures, out of which they have won nineteen and drawn six.

Canada endeared themselves to neutrals with a battling performance in an opening 1-0  defeat to Belgium but have since lost 4-1 against Croatia in a watch where the score line could have been much wider. Regardless of what happens here, they are already out of contention for progression to the second round, but they will be motivated to make history by winning a World Cup game for the first time in their history.

The Canadians have now lost five of their last seven competitive fixtures, including a run of three consecutive losses, and we expect Morocco to extend the run by getting a fairly comfortable win here. Morocco will be gunning for the top spot against the weakest side in the group, and with the likes of Hakim Ziyech, Sofiane Boufal, and Youssef En-Neyseri in attack, they could rack up goals here.

Key Takeaways:

  • Morocco are unbeaten in their last 25 competitive internationals.
  • Morocco are one of only 3 three sides who are yet to concede in this competition.
  • Canada have lost 5 of their last seven competitive fixtures.

Japan vs Spain

1 December 2022

BCA Prediction: Spain Win

Spain started this tournament in scintillating form by thrashing Costa Rico 7-0 but were then made to work hard to secure a 1-1 draw against Germany the last time around. Japan also started their tournament like a house on fire with a shock 2-1 win over Germany but were then brought crashing back to earth as Costa Rica beat them 1-0. These results mean that all four teams can still qualify, so this will be a keenly contested encounter.

Luis Enrique can still finish top with a draw, so all of the pressure is on Japan, who will likely need a win to go through. Draws are not a strange result for the Spaniards, as they have drawn seven of their last 12 tournament games. In fact, under Enrique, they have drawn exactly half of their last 8 tournament games by the same score, 1-1. It is also interesting to note that the Costa Rica game is the only one in which they have scored more than two goals since September 2021.

While Spain are one of the youngest squads in this tournament, Japan are one of the more experienced squads. They might have lost to Costa Rica the last time, but turning Germany over was no fluke. Spain will be wary, and considering that they may only need a point to finish as group winners, they can afford to be more cautious in their approach. We believe the Spaniards will dominate possession and eke out the result they need to go through. 

Key Takeaways:

  • 7 of Spain’s last 12 major tournament games have finished in draws.
  • Spain have only scored more than 2 goals in one of their last 8 competitive games.
  • Japan have lost only one of their last 9 fixtures.

Costa Rica vs Germany

1 December 2022

BCA Prediction: Germany win

Hansi Flick’s German side must win to qualify for the next round after starting their tournament with a shock loss against Japan and a more credible draw with Spain.  Even a win will not be enough here if Japan avoids defeat against Spain in the other match. With so much at stake, Germany must simply go all out for the win as they look to avoid consecutive bottom-placed group finishes in the World Cup for the first time ever.

Costa Rica looked like no-hopers in their embarrassing opening thrashing against Spain, but they recovered well to defeat Japan in the last round of games. That result means that Costa Rica could progress if they get a draw here and Spain does them a favor by beating Japan.  Costa Rica can make a mark here after finding the net in six of their last seven internationals.

But we think the Germans will have too much quality for them. Die Mannschaft are winless in four competitive fixtures, and they have won only one of their last eight, but they have only failed to score in one of those matches. They more than matched Spain the last time around as they created more chances and attempted more shots with marginally lower possession. We believe the likes of Jamal Musiala, Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane, and Thomas Muller will be too much for the Costa Ricans on the day.

Key Takeaways:

  • Germany are looking to avoid a second consecutive bottom-placed group-stage finish.
  • Germany have found the net in six of their last 7 internationals.
  • Costa Rica have also found the net in six of their last 7 internationals.

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