World Cup 2022 continues with four more matches on Thursday, as Germany, Croatia, Spain and Belgium all play their third games at the tournament in Qatar.
There are still four places in the knockout rounds up for grabs as Groups E and F reach a conclusion.
We have made a parlay covering all the action on another busy day of World Cup action.
The odds for December 1 are supplied by the FanDuel sportsbook, where a $1000 no-sweat first bet is available.
Canada can count themselves a little unfortunate to have already been eliminated from World Cup 2022. While their tactical naivety was ruthlessly exposed by Croatia in a 4-1 defeat last time out, they were the better team in a 1-0 loss to Belgium on matchday one. Had they won that game, things would be very different heading into matchday three.
As it is, Morocco are the team fighting for a place in the knockout phase. A draw would be enough for the Atlas Lions to advance, and they will draw confidence from the clean sheets they kept against Croatia and Belgium.
Canada’s attack packs a punch, though, and John Herdman’s side will be desperate to avoid a third defeat. Both teams to score could be the way to go in this one.
Croatia were underwhelming in a 0-0 draw with Morocco last week, but they turned in a much-improved performance to thrash Canada 4-1 at the weekend. The Vatreni actually fell behind in that game, but they played their way back into it and ultimately ran out handsome winners.
Belgium are on the brink of an early exit after a loss to Morocco in their second outing. Roberto Martinez’s men have been hugely disappointing so far. They have only scored one goal and that came in a victory over Canada in which the Belgians were outplayed for long periods.
Croatia only require a point to go through, so there is no need for them to force the issue on Thursday. Belgium have looked blunt in attack so far, and even a start for Romelu Lukaku might not change that given the striker’s lack of fitness. This could be a low-scoring match.
After a 2-1 defeat by Japan on matchday one, Germany feared an early elimination from this World Cup. They are not yet through to the knockout stage, but a victory over Costa Rica would be enough to seal a last-16 berth provided Japan do not beat Spain in the afternoon’s other match in Group E.
Costa Rica bounced back from a 7-0 defeat by Spain to beat Japan last time out. That was a terrific result for the Ticos, who were heavily criticized after the demolition by Luis Enrique’s side.
However, another hefty loss could be on the cards against a Germany side which possesses plenty of attacking talent. Goals either side of half-time should be achievable for Hansi Flick’s men.
Despite being one of the most impressive performers at the tournament to date, Spain are not yet through to the knockout phase. They must avoid defeat by Japan to progress to the next round, but do not expect Luis Enrique’s side to actively seek a draw: they will be going all-out for the victory on Thursday.
That is bad news for Japan, who will probably need to win to extend their stay in Qatar. A shock loss to Costa Rica at the weekend has severely dented the Samurai Blue’s hopes of a place in the last 16.
Spain started quickly in a 7-0 thrashing of Costa Rica on matchday one and they will look to break the deadlock early on here too. We fancy their chances of being ahead at the interval.
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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