Canada vs Belgium World Cup 2022: Les Rouges and Red Devils clash in first Group F face off
Canada vs Belgium will be the first game for both teams at the 2022 Qatar World Cup in Group F. Belgium rightly head into this game as heavy favorites with sportsbooks pricing them at -400 to win the match. With the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku on the prowl: how is Canada going to stop them?
Pic: Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sport
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Canada head to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup for just the second time in their history. This will be an exciting time if you are a Canadian as the nation watches their soccer team play in the World Cup for the first time in 36 years.
Canada has their most exciting group of players in decades, which has seen them qualify for the most watched event in soccer. A new generation of quality talent has emerged from the nation including Alphonso Davies and Jonathon David.
The side started the qualification process slowly drawing four out of their first five matches, however they moved up a gear winning their next six games to put them in a strong position. Losing to Costa Rica in the next game with just two matches left in the group meant they had to win against Jamaica to reach the World Cup. Canada made light work of the big occasion and booked their spot on the plane to Qatar by winning 4-0.
Canada player to watch: Alphonso Davies
Alphonso Davies is one of Canada’s most successful players and is still only 21 years old. The left back has won four German Bundesliga titles and a Champions League with Bayern Munich, starting the majority of games when he has been available. Not only is the Canadian star a solid defender but his pace and attacking awareness allows him to be a threat going forward as seen in his five goals during the team’s qualification campaign.
As Canada vs Belgium in the first game, it is likely that John Herdman will set up his side defensively and try to counter attack. This type of play style will suit Davies as he can defend for long periods of the game. When the team get the opportunity to break away, the left back can use his speed and experience to help create chances against a side that won’t give many away.
The Bayern Munich star has had injury difficulties in the 2021/22 season which kept him out from January to April, but he has made a strong recovery and is ready to head to Qatar.
Pic: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Currently, Roberto Martinez's Belgium is ranked as the second best team in the world. Despite this, they’re a side that need to perform better at tournaments if they are going to be a team that’ll be remembered as a golden generation.
Being second place in the FIFA World Rankings, you would expect Belgium to have made it to the final of a World Cup - but this is a stage of the competition they have not managed to reach yet. However, they’ve been getting closer with a quarterfinal elimination in 2014 and a semifinal elimination in 2018. And with a group of talented players that are not getting any younger, Belgium won’t want to look back on this roster as a group who underachieved.
Their strengths lie in their attacking ability as seen in their often high scoring games where the defensive frailties are saved by their forwards being able to score more goals than their opponents. This was clearly on display in their UEFA Nations League campaign last time out which saw seven of their last nine games having over 2.5 match goals. They will need to improve at the back if they want to get to the latter stages of the World Cup.
Pic: Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sports
Belgium player to watch - Kevin De Bruyne
Kevin De Bruyne has been one of the world’s best soccer players for years and has helped Manchester City win many trophies during his seven-year career at the club. The Belgian playmaker is regularly involved when the team find the back of the net, whether that is scoring or assisting.
In the Premier League, the midfielder has had over 15 goal involvements in every season at Man City apart from the 2018/19 campaign where De Bruyne spent months on the sidelines with a knee injury. This showcases how much of a generational talent De Bruyne with his name being likened to greats such as Steven Gerrard and Zinedine Zidane.
The Man City midfielder has proven that he regularly performs on the big stage as seen in his Champions League masterclasses this season along with his final day heroics in the Premier League to help secure the title for City. We expect the 2021/22 Premier League player of the season to help Belgium in each of their World Cup Group F matches and through the knockout rounds with goals and assists.
Pic: PA Images/Sipa USA via USA TODAY Sports
Canada vs Belgium World Cup 2022 free betting picks
Belgium to win to nil
De Bruyne to score anytime
Lukaku to score anytime
Best soccer offers 2022