The Teams’ Routes to the World Cup
Qatar will be the 14th World Cup finals that Belgium has qualified for since the first time they played in the 1930 Uruguayan World Cup. Eight of those appearances have seen Belgium qualify for the knockout stages of the World Cup. At the Mexico 1986 World Cup, Belgium finished 4th place after being knocked out by eventual winners Argentina. In the 2014 Brazil World Cup finals, Belgium was knocked out in the quarter-finals. The following World Cup in Russia 2018 saw their second semi-final loss, as France won 1 – 0 and went on to win the tournament. Is a pattern emerging following the past two World Cups, leading towards the 2022 tournament? Can Belgium reach the final and go all the way to winning the competition?
This is the 6th World Cup finals that Morocco has qualified to play. The first time they featured at a World Cup was in Mexico in 1970 and the most recent was the 2018 tournament held in Russia. They have only made it past the group stage on one occasion and that was the World Cup of 1986, held in Mexico. In that World Cup, Morocco won their Group stage drawing with Poland and England before beating Portugal. In the round of 16, Morocco succumbed to the eventual tournament runners-up West Germany. To qualify for the 2022 World Cup, Morocco convincingly won the CAF second-round qualifying Group I and went on to beat DR Congo 5 – 2 on aggregate to allow safe passage to Qatar.
Morocco has played Belgium only three times in the past with Morocco winning once and Belgium winning twice. They have never registered a draw and the last time they played each other was in March 2008 when Morocco ran out winners 4 – 1 playing away from home.
Current Odds at mr.play
You can take a look into all our betting markets available right here at mr.play. Belgium will be odds-on favourites to win the match against Morocco. The pricing for Belgium winning currently sits at 27/50. If you are brave and believe Morocco is going to turn the form book upside down and win the game then you can obtain odds at 49/10. The game may end in a draw and if you think this will be the outcome you can place your bet at odds of 63/20. Take a look into some of our other betting markets, including 1st half outcomes and multigoal options, right here at mr.play.
Team Overviews & Player Profiles
A player that does it week in and week out, Kevin De Bruyne unlocks defences with his magnificent range of passing. A complete midfielder, he will be looking to make an even bigger impact in the 2022 World Cup having finished 3rd with Belgium in 2018. He has made over 200 appearances in professional football for Manchester City, being a 4-time champion of the Premier League and FA Cup winner in 2018/2019. He is moving up the list of Belgian football all-time greats with 91 appearances and 24 goals, he is the 10th most capped and 10th highest goal-scorer for his country. A player that shines in the Premier League regularly, is it his time to boss the 2022 World Cup?
Still only 25 years old, Youri Tielemans can help control the midfield against Morocco. He has both defensive and attacking attributes in particular his pace, passing and shot power complement his all-around midfield game. During his professional club career, he has made over 100 appearances for Anderlecht and Leicester City. With Leicester City, he scored the winner in the FA Cup final in 2021 and was named their player of the season. He has also been named Belgian Professional footballer of the year and played in the 2018 World Cup when Belgium finished in 3rd place. With an international record of 52 appearances and five goals, he will be a very complimentary player to Kevin de Bruyne which may help Belgium’s midfield take charge of the game.
Attacking intent will be crucial and Morocco will need to be on the front foot from the off if they are to take something from the game against Belgium. Youseff En-Nesyri is a tall striker at 6ft 2in (188cm) and the ‘Atlas Lions’ will be depending on him to add a goal to the scoresheet. He is a professional footballer that plays for Spanish giants Sevilla, a team that he joined in 2020. With Sevilla, he has gone on to make 80 appearances, scoring 27 goals and winning the UEFA Europa League in 2019/2020. If he scores 2 more goals for Morocco, he will equal Youssouf Hadji on the all-time Moroccan international scoring list in joint 8th place. Making his debut for Morocco in 2016 he has collected 48 international caps and scored 14 goals. In 2022 for Morocco, he has played in 8 games, scoring 3 goals.
When playing Belgium, the Moroccans are going to come up against the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Kevin de Bruyne and Eden Hazard. Yassine Bounou is a goalkeeper that will have to be alert to the threat and be at his very best to keep a clean sheet and contribute to Morocco getting a result. He has played for Sevilla since the 2019/2020 season and won the UEFA Europa League with them and was named in the Europa League squad of the season. He also earned himself La Liga’s African most valuable player award (MVP) in the 2021/2022 season. Bounou could have represented Canada but he chose Morocco and has since played in 3 African Cup of Nations tournaments and the 2018 World Cup. During his international career, he has earned himself 43 appearances.
A Trust Test for Morocco
Can Morocco beat Belgium in an attempt to make it to the round of 16 for the second time in their history or will Belgium be too strong? Morocco beat Belgium the last time they played competitively in 2008 but times have changed and they now face a team ranked 2nd best in the world. An interesting contest is in store and here at mr.play we are fully stocked with betting markets that can further enhance the enjoyment of Belgium v Morocco.