The 2018 World Cup finalists and a team that is still in search of its first-ever World Cup goal, face each other. This tie of Croatia vs Canada is vital for both teams. Croatia underwhelmed their fans with the scoreless draw against Morocco, while Canada was impressive, and dominated the pace, but lost 1-0 to a more experienced Belgium team.
Croatia vs Canada will (once again) be a clash between experience and youth. One team has gone all the way, four years ago, reaching the final of a World Cup, while a fresh Canada team came to revive a whole nation’s interest in the sport.
Croatia vs Canada
Date: 27 November 2022
Time: 16:00 (GMT)
Venue: Khalifa International Stadium (Doha)
Croatia has one of the oldest teams in the World Cup. A higher age average means experience, it means footballing wisdom, but it also means a slower pace. It also means a smaller lung capacity, which might be a problem against a youthful and fast team like Canada.
But, to be honest, people have been saying that about Croatia for the past four years. They expect the team to decline and decline fast. But this hasn’t necessarily been the case. Losing in the Euro 2020 Round of 16 wasn’t ideal, but Croatia did manage to come from behind and force extra time against a very talented Spain team.
But then came an impressive Nations League campaign. After losing the first game of Group A, an embarrassing 3-0 home defeat to Austria, Croatia won four games and drew one, to top a group that included the likes of France and Denmark. The Vatreni will compete for the title in the Nations League finals, in Amsterdam, against Netherlands, Italy, and Spain.
As with their Nations League (and in fact as with their Euro 2020) campaign, Croatia underperformed in their opening match. They were probably fortunate to earn that one point from an impressive Morocco team and coach Zlatko Dalic admitted his players lacked courage.
Croatia’s defence is notoriously hard to crack and nobody can argue with the quality Luka Modric brings to the table.
Nikola Vlasic is doubtful for Croatia vs Canada. Mario Pasalic is expected to get the nod to start, while Marko Livaja is also expected to replace Andrej Kramaric in the Starting XI.
Canada had an impressive qualifying campaign to get to the World Cup for the second time in the team’s history. Those who had seen Canada compete were expecting a fresh and promising squad but argued that it might just be too early for them to shine. Well, Canada was just as impressive against almighty Belgium, but the lack of experience showed. Canadian wonderkid Alphonso Davies had the chance to score his country’s first-ever World Cup goal from the penalty spot, but he was beaten by Thibault Courtois.
Cyle Larin might be introduced into the Starting XI, replacing Junior Hoilett, as 39-year-old captain Atiba Hutchinson will win his 100th cap for Canada, the first player to do so for his nation.
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Croatia (4-3-3): Livakovic; Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa; Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic; Pasalic, Livaja, Perisic
Canada (3-5-2): Borjan; Johnston, Vitoria, Miller; Buchanan, Piette, Eustaqio, Davies, Osorio; Larin, David
Canada is a team of the future. But we live in the present and if there is one thing the Croatians do better than anyone else is to thrive under pressure. It won’t be easy, but the odds are way too favourable to overlook Croatia here.
Croatia vs Canada Pick: Croatia to Win @2.15
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