Belgium vs Canada: Preview of the 2022 World Cup Match

Belgium vs Canada: The glimmer of Belgium’s Golden Generation has faded and for the first time since Euro 2016, they enter a big tournament without being hailed as potential title contenders. They have never lost a group stage match at a World Cup but they face 2018 runner-up Croatia opening-round opponents Morocco and Canada.

The Maple Leafs of Canada has landed in Doha full of optimism. Only their second World Cup appearance and their first since 1986. Over the previous few years, Belgium’s record demonstrates that they have little trouble beating lower-ranked teams but struggle when facing top-tier competition.

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They were eliminated in the quarterfinals of both the 2018 World Cup and the 2017 European Championships by eventual champions France and Italy, respectively.

One of Belgium’s most impressive players at the 2018 World Cup Eden Hazard has barely played for Real Madrid since his 2019 transfer. Roberto Martinez has stuck with his captain despite calls for Leandro Trossard to replace him.

The Red Devils don’t have a reliable backup striker for Romelu Lukaku, who has struggled with injuries and form this past year. They boast a 68-year-old defence, with Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld as the anchors.

The success of Belgium will rely heavily on Kevin de Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois, the two best players in the squad. The Maple Leafs qualified for the tournament with ease, winning eight of their 14 CONCACAF qualifying matches, including victories against Mexico and the United States.

As much as 22-year-old Bayern Munich fullback Alphonso Davies is Canada’s undeniable star, other players like Jonathan David (Lille) and Cyle Larin (Club Brugge) stood out in qualifying. After Larin’s 11 goals, David scored 9.

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The Canadian assault will be exciting to watch because of its speed and vigour as it faces up against the seasoned but ageing Belgian defence. When these two teams met in a friendly in 1989, Belgium triumphed 2-0.

After losing their last two matches, to the Netherlands and Egypt, Belgium enters the World Cup in mediocre shape. Even Canada can only claim two victories in its previous five matches.

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