World Cup Predictions: Croatia vs Canada

Two winless sides yet to score their first goal in the competition will come to blows at the Khalifa International Stadium when Canada and Croatia meet in their second Group F match.

However, the 2018 runner-ups do have an advantage over the Maple Leafs.

Croatia got a point in their opening match, which ended in a 0-0 draw against Morocco. But, Canada could not get anything for their efforts as Belgium edged past them with a 1-0 win.

Croatia did not come to Qatar as one of the favourites, despite coming within a match of winning their first World Cup trophy in Russia four years ago.

They have an ageing squad with no prominent breakthrough players in their ranks. But, a few could have foreseen Morocco forcing a point out of them.

Vatreni dominated the possessions, but they had the same amount of on-target shots as Morocco.

In fact, the African side had more attempts than Croatia. Dejan Lovren produced one of his finest displays in the Croatia shirt to keep the Morocco attackers at bay. There were dashes of individual brilliance from time to time, but a lack of self-belief seemed evident in Zlatko Dalić’s men.

Canada head coach John Herdman sparked controversy by telling his team they have the ability to ”F” Croatia.

Unsurprisingly, his remarks did not go down well, particularly in the Croatian media, but the 47-year-old must have been encouraged by what he saw in Canada’s first match in the tournament.

Canada were a constant menace to the Belgian backline throughout the match.

None of the players gave away that it was their first-ever match on the biggest stage of international football. Canada had 22 attempts in the game, but a lack of precision cost them.

Canada are yet to score any goals in their World Cup history.

They will hope to break the duck against Croatia and also open their points tally to keep their newfound knockout stage hopes alive.

Team News

Nikola Vlašić limped off the pitch in the Morocco game, but the Torino man has alleviated the injury scare and returned to full training.

Mario Pašalić or Mislav Oršić could take his place in the starting lineup if Zlatko Dalić feels Vlašić is not fit enough to start.

Andrej Kramarić might get another chance to prove his goalscoring credentials. The experienced midfield trio of Luka Modrić, Mateo Kovačić and Marcelo Brozović are a lock in the starting XI.

John Herdman doesn’t have any injury problems to sweat over ahead of the Croatia match.

He should not also feel the need to make changes, given Canada’s energetic performance against Belgium.

Club Brugge forward Cyle Larin could be the only change in the starting XI if Herdman believes he can add more attacking threat than Junior Hoilett.

Our Prediction

Croatia might fall victim to the next upset of the tournament if they don’t improve upon their opening-day performance.

Canada’s youthful attack will take another stern test of the resolute Croatian defence, but this time Canada might have better luck.

We will roll the dice on a surprise 1-0 win for Canada in this one.

Date: 27 November

Kickoff Time: 9:30 PM IST

Venue: Khalifa International Stadium


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