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We have another busy day of World Cup 2022 in store on Wednesday, as Germany and Spain - two of the favorites to lift the trophy next month - begin their campaigns.
We have picked out the best prop bets on day four - remember, these are wagers on a particular outcome within the match, rather than the final result.
The odds for November 23 are from the DraftKings sportsbook. Sign up today to get a deposit bonus up to $1000.
In the first round of World Cup fixtures, we could see several cautious encounters. A defeat on matchday one is never fatal to a team’s chances of reaching the knockout phase, but it tends to put them on the back foot with two games left to play.
First halves could be particularly cagey and we think Morocco vs Croatia could be a slow burner. The European side, who were runners-up to France in Russia four years ago, will be content to retain possession in the opening stages, while the underdogs Morocco will look to feel their way into the game.
This match is unlikely to finish goalless, but we could be in store for an opening 45 minutes without too much action in the penalty areas.
Germany’s opening game of World Cup 2022 is just around the corner but Hansi Flick still has plenty of thinking to do. The main selection issue confronting him is who should start up front, with Timo Werner missing out through injury.
Kai Havertz looks likeliest to get the nod, but he is not a natural center-forward and has flattered to deceive at Chelsea in the last few years. Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry on the flanks could pose more of a goal threat than Havertz.
Japan have what it takes to cause Germany problems in this match, which we believe will be close. The Samurai Blue may look to contain their opponents in the first half before opening up after the break. Do not be surprised if the scores are level after 45 minutes.
Just like the teams that won Euro 2008, World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012, this Spain side is defined by its midfield. There can be no doubting the quality they possess in that area of the pitch, although there is some concern over la Roja’s attack.
Alvaro Morata tends to be appreciated by his managers but he is one of those strikers who seems to need four chances to score a goal. That could be an issue for Spain, especially in the knockout rounds.
However, an opening game against Costa Rica gives Morata and co. the chance to build up their confidence. Los Ticos had a good defensive record in CONCACAF qualifying but keeping Luis Enrique’s side quiet will be significantly tougher. And for all the doubts over Spain’s attacking efficiency, it is worth remembering that they were the joint-top scorers at Euro 2020.
It will take a monumental effort for Belgium to better their third-place finish from World Cup 2018. That achievement came when several members of the country’s golden generation were still in their peak years, whereas there are now serious doubts over the form, fitness and/or age of numerous players.
One Belgian who has only gone from strength to strength since the tournament in Russia is Kevin De Bruyne. Arguably the best midfielder in the world, the Manchester City man is likely to play on the right-hand side of a front three at the World Cup.
Canada could cause Belgium’s defense problems on Wednesday, but the Red Devils should still create plenty of chances at the other end. Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard have not played much soccer of late, so the goalscoring burden is likely to fall on De Bruyne.
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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