The FIFA World Cup 2022 is almost halfway through round one of its group stage phases and en route, Morocco vs Croatia is just hours away. The European side will take the African team at the Al Bayt Stadium in the opening match of Group F. Croatia was the finalist in the last world cup and is also in good form heading into the tournament in Qatar with five wins out of five of their last matches.
On the other hand, regarding their first opponent in this competition, Morocco, the Lions of Atlas, too, are looking strong; they haven’t faced defeat in their last five outings. Croatia, in recent times, has been cementing its reputation as one of the favorites upgrading itself from just the dark horses.
Reaching the final in Russia was their best-ever feat in the FIFA tournaments and they have also been a familiar face for this sort of competition since the late ’90s. The Vatreni has been at the FIFA event a total of five times with Qatar being their sixth, as an independent nation.
As for Morocco, this is also their sixth appearance. The North African side has played in the world cup finals five times, having participated in 1970, 1986, 1994, 1998, and 2018. However, they have never made it past the knockouts; they reached the round of 16 in 1986 in Mexico.
While Morocco and Croatia, being sided against Belgium and Canada in the same group, are the two of the favorites to advance to the knockouts, with the argument over Belgium intact, let’s have a look at the so far analytics as to who is going to win in the fixture that they are against each other.
Morocco And Croatia; How They Qualified And Their Strengths?
Morocco secured the place in Qatar with a perfect record. The Atlas Lions won all six of their matches. This was followed by a 5-2 aggregate win in the playoffs against a continental opponent, Congo. Although not as competitive as Croatian in quantity, Morocco still has some star and world-class players in their squad with the likes of Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech, PSG’S Achraf Hakimi, Sevilla’s Youssef En Nesyri, and Bayern Munich’s Noussair Mazraoui.
Croatia, on the other hand, also has a pretty balanced squad with which they topped their European qualifiers group for this world cup. In the qualification round, they only conceded one game out of ten and faced the draw two times. In the whole outing, the Chequereds netted a total of 21 goals and conceded only four times.
Preceding the event in Qatar, Croatia is fresh off their win against Saudi Arabia who recently shocked the world with their historic win against Argentina in the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022. To say more, the Balkans have only suffered one loss in their last ten matches.
Morocco Vs Croatia Predictions By Numbers And Odds
While Morocco won’t be a picnic for even the top contenders, Croatia has been receiving slightly more odds to win this fixture by 21/20 (2.05), courtesy of bet365.
By comparison, Morocco has received 14/5 (3.80) to have an upper hand against the 2018 World Cup runner-up. As for the chances of drawing, the probability being provided is 11/5 (3.20).
Andrej Kramaric of Bundesliga’s Hoffenheim who has scored thrice for the German side this season is likely (by number) to net the first goal of the game by the odds of 11/2 (6.50). The next probable scorer is his teammate, Ante Budimir who has been given a numeric likelihood of 6/1 (7.00).
Following him in terms of odds is the Moroccon attacking midfielder, Hakim Ziyech at 17/2 (9.50). Similar odds have been given to his teammate, Youssef En Nesyri.
The match, however, has the projection to not experience that many goals and even if the win is to come, it is expected to be a narrow one.
Why Croatia Has An Advantage Over Morocco? Their History
Morocco looks a bit worrisome in the midfield and on the flanks as their first preferences in the areas, Abdelhamid Sabiri and Abdessamad Ezzalzouli are both doubtful because of the injuries.
Croatia might capitalize on that as the team absolutely has no injury concern heading into Qatar. In addition, they have most of the core squad that took them to historic achievement in the FIFA World Cup 2018.
Croatia Forms In The Last Ten Matches
Morocco Forms In The Last Ten Matches
Morocco 1-2 Croatia