Group F World Cup Qatar 2022: favorites, analysis and calendar

The challenge of Group F of the 2022 World Cup: sacrificing Vahid for Ziyech, Morocco's winning bet?

Returning to the World Cup in 2018 after 20 years of absence, Morocco had left through the back door, almost condemned from the start by its defeat against Iran (0-1) then not helped by the arbitration against the two leaders of the group, Portugal (0-1) and Spain (2-2). Then, Hervé Renard gave way to Vahid Halilhodzic as coach after the CAN 2019 fiasco. group stage of the World Cup qualifiers.

Tensions between the ex-PSG coach and the Moroccan public took on new proportions in the fall of 2021 when the latter decided to dismiss star Hakim Ziyech for "indiscipline". After months of hesitation, the Federation arbitrated against "Coach Vahid" in this showdown. Not helped by the elimination in the quarter-finals of the last CAN but still managed to qualify the Atlas Lions for the World Cup in the play-offs against DR Congo (1-1, 4-1), the technician likewise was sacked in August, just before the competition, for the 3rdin his career.

To replace him, Walid Regragui, author last season of the double championship-African Champions League with Wydad Casablanca, was appointed on the bench less than 100 days before the World. A real bet. Whether it will bear fruit remains to be seen. During the first friendlies against Chile (2-0) and Paraguay (0-0), Morocco in any case displayed a playful, technical and attractive face, appreciated by the supporters. Logic for a selection that has in its ranks Achraf Hakimi, Sofiane Boufal, Noussair Mazraoui and therefore now Ziyech who has made a comeback!

Aging Croatia, really?

Since their defeat in the final against the Blues in the last edition, Croatia have generally struggled to confirm and seem to bear the brunt of the aging of their executives like Luka Modric, Dejan Lovren (33) and Ivan Perisic (33 Years). The Vatreni thus disappointed during the last Euro: defeated by England and held in check by the Czech Republic, they validated their qualification for the round of 16 only by beating modest Scotland (3-1) on the last day. , before being eliminated by Spain (3-5 ap). Zlatko Dalic's men, however, validated their qualification for the Final Four of the last edition of the League of Nations by finishing at the top of a tough group ahead of Denmark, France and Austria. A good omen for Qatar?

Did Belgium miss its chance?

Eliminated by the Blues in the semi-finals of the previous edition, the Belgian golden generation seems to have missed the boat. Since then, the Red Devils have gone from disappointment to disappointment, as evidenced by their elimination in the quarter-finals of the last Euro against Italy (1-2). Italy again, France and the Netherlands twice over the past year have beaten the Belgians who have even symbolically lost their place as world number one in the FIFA rankings.

Despite the excellent level reached by Thibaut Courtois and Kevin De Bruyne, the prolonged poor form of executives Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku has obviously ended up having an impact in selection and, currently, Roberto Martinez's men no longer seem capable of beating teams. leading. However, they remain the big favorites of the group on paper.

A winning comeback for Canada?

If you ask who may be the surprise team of this edition, you will often hear about Canada. Back 36 years after their only participation in 1986, the Reds caused a sensation by finishing top of the qualifications in the Concacaf Zone, to the chagrin of the usual cadors that constitute Mexico and the United States. All with an eloquent record of 8 wins, 4 draws and only 2 losses, including one in the last match against Panama which counted for nothing.

With Lille striker Jonathan David and Bayern Munich left-back Alphonso Davies, this selection has promising potential. The lack of experience of the Canadians, especially against teams from other confederations, could however play tricks on them, like their recent defeat in a friendly match against Uruguay (0-2), which symbolizes the path still to go.


Group F 2022 World Cup – Their history at the World Cup:

  • Belgium: participation14th ; 3rdin 2018.
  • Canada: 2nd participation; first round in 1986.
  • Croatia: participation6th ; finalist in 2018.
  • Morocco: participation6th ; Round of 16 in 1986.

The 2022 World Cup Group F schedule

Wednesday 23 November

Morocco – Croatia, at Al Bayt Stadium, Belgium – Canada, at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium

Sunday, November 27

Belgium – Morocco, at Al Thumama Stadium, Croatia – Canada, at Khalifa International Stadium

Tuesday, November 29

Canada – Morocco, at the Al Thumama Stadium

Croatia – Belgium, at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium

The star of Group F of the 2022 World Cup: Kevin de Bruyne

At the top of his game for several club seasons with Manchester City, the attacking midfielder delights with his vision of the game, his incredible passes and his confusing goals. In selection, the record is a little less brilliant. For a long time, the Citizens had to live in the shadow of Eden Hazard, who had finished, let's remember, 2ndin the last World Cup. Except that, since his signing at Real Madrid, the Belgian captain has been at the bottom of the lap, and KDB is still slow to take over completely, chaining good performances and too tender performances against the nations that count. In his defense, he is not as well surrounded as with the Sky Blues