The primary event in Group F has always been Belgium vs Croatia. The 2022 FIFA World Cup returns to the fold this week, with Croatia taking on Roberto Martinez’s faltering Belgium team in a Group F encounter at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium on Thursday.
Belgium, the pre-tournament favorite, is in turmoil, with a 37.5% probability of advancing coming into their last match.
Belgium has lost form at a bad moment at the World Cup, with their position in the last 16 at stake against Croatia, but Eden Hazard remains confident in his team’s ability.
They were out of sorts in their 1-0 win against Canada and were punished 2-0 in their second encounter against Morocco. That defeat halted a 13-game undefeated streak in group-stage games at the finals, albeit they had not lost three consecutive such games since the 1982 and 1986 championships.
They has a strong squad at their hands, but they have seen a troubling drop in form over the last year. The Red Devils are in serious need of a transition as their golden generation comes to an end.
Croatia had a slow start to their World Cup campaign, but fought back with a victory over Canada. On paper, both sides are evenly matched and might play to a draw in this encounter.
In terms of official head-to-head records, Croatia and Belgium are tied with three wins each in the eight matches played between the two sides.
The 2018 finalists have also won four of their last five group-stage matches, drawing the other, and their two defeats against fellow European teams in ten World Cup games have come at the hands of France – in 1998 and 2018.
Belgium has won its last two games against Croatia in all competitions, with Romelu Lukaku scoring all three goals. In the FIFA World Cup, Croatia has never faced Belgium. Croatia has only lost two of their ten matches against European opponents in the competition’s history.
Croatia has only scored more than one goal in one of their eight meetings with Belgium. They last accomplished this feat in 2003. Belgium had a 13-match unbeaten streak in the FIFA World Cup group stage before falling to Morocco 2-0 last week.