Group F comes to a conclusion as Croatia takes on Belgium at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium. Croatia tops the group leading up to this clash against Belgium while Belgium is in third place with three points. Belgium have it all to do as they try to push towards another knockout stage. The defeat against Morocco has ruffled some feathers within the Belgian dressing room as reports claim unrest between various players after the interview done by Kevin de Bruyne, when he pointed out the team is too old to compete in the World Cup.
Taking a look at the FIFA rankings, Belgium is in second place, whilst Croatia is 10 places behind their next opponents in 12th place. These two countries will be playing their first head to head game in the FIFA World Cup but have met in the qualification of the competition, resulting in a 2-1 win for Belgium and a 1-1 draw.
Despite starting off their campaign with a goalless draw against Morocco, Croatia went on a rampage against Canada as they came from behind to win 4-1. The game against Canada showed great character and experience from the Croatian players who, despite going behind early in the game, kept cool. Andrej Kramaric’s goalscoring this season has not been great in the Bundesliga, but he took his chances with aplomb.
Up against Belgium in the upcoming game, Croatia could secure first place in the group, and with conflict in the Belgian camp, this could be achieved. The midfield stability of Kovacic, Modric and Brozovic has been key to many memorable moments for Zlatko Dalic’s side. The midfield trio will look to dominate the middle of the park once again.
A very disappointing defeat against Morocco has set back the ambitions of the Belgian Red Devils of making it out of the group. Roberto Martinez has a huge task ahead, as reports suggest that the harmony in the Belgium squad is ‘completely broken’ after the dressing room bust-up. It will be a question of mentality for these professional players to put their quarrels aside and do their best for their country.
The golden age of the Belgium squad might be coming to a bitter end, as the win against Canada was far from convincing. Things can change quickly in football, as we know all too wel. A win against Croatia would go far when it comes to steadying the ship.
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