The Teams’ Routes to the World Cup
For such a small country with a huge Adriatic coastline, you may wonder why the Croatians love their football so much rather than sitting on the beach. Since Croatian independence, the national team has only failed to qualify for the South African 2010 World Cup since their first appearance in France in 1998. That tournament proved to be rather special when Croatia finished extraordinarily in third place. To reach the semi-final they beat Romania and Germany before being knocked out by the ultimate winners, France. In the following World Cups that they qualified they were knocked out in the group stages until Russia 2018. This time they magnificently finished as runners-up, once again losing to France in the final. To qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Croatia won Group H of the UEFA world cup qualification playing 10 matches, winning 7, drawing 2 and losing 1 game.
This will only be the second time Canada is represented at the World Cup finals. Their first and only visit to a World Cup was to Mexico in 1986. They were knocked out in the group stage losing all three matches to the Soviet Union, France and Hungary without being able to score a goal. They will certainly hope they will make more of an impression in Qatar. To qualify for the 2022 World Cup Canada won the third round CONCACAF qualification group finishing ahead of Mexico, the USA and Costa Rica. Strangely enough, Canada has already qualified for the 2026 World Cup as a hosting nation together with Mexico and USA.
This will be the first time the two teams have met in an international football match.
Current Odds at mr.play
There is a massive amount of betting outcomes that you can consider right here at mr.play. How about checking out our match combo, multi-correct score, goals, and multigoal betting markets to search for some excellent opportunities? As usual, you can bet on the outright winner of the game or if the game will end in a draw. Croatia may be the favourite to win the game but Canada has shown their potential during qualification for the 2022 World Cup.
Team Overviews & Player Profiles
When Croatia goes toe-to-toe with Canada it will be the Croatian midfield that can control the game. They have a set group of players that are world-class and have a great understanding, having played together many times. The likes of Marcelo Brozović, Luka Modrić and Ivan Perišić will thwart attacks, retain possession and set up attacking moves. Marcelo Brozović is considered one of the best defensive midfielders in the world. A complete midfielder, he can pass, tackle and is full of running with his amazing stamina. He has made over 200 appearances for Inter Milan and won Serie A and Coppa Italia in 2020/2021. The following season he was awarded best midfielder in Serie A. Making a total of 74 international appearances he scored 7 goals and was a crucial cog in the Croatian team that finished runners-up in the 2018 World Cup.
The strength of Croatia’s midfield is further enhanced by Mateo Kovačić. The midfielder is a box-to-box player and will take it to the Canadians with his strong dribbling and driving runs that will create havoc. Contracted to Premier League club Chelsea he has made over 100 appearances for them and won the UEFA Champions League and Europa League. This will be his 3rd World Cup with Croatia having played in Brazil 2014 and Russia 2018 where he was part of the squad that finished runners-up.
If Canada is to spring a surprise during the 2022 World Cup, then they will have to bring some new superstars to the party. Alphonso Davies is only 21 years old and could be the one to shine. Regarded as one of the best up-and-coming left-sided players in the world, he has bundles of pace, dribbling skills and creativity. He already has 80 appearances playing for Bayern Munich and won the Bundesliga and Champions League with them. In June 2017 he became the youngest player ever to represent the Canadian senior national team and was awarded the 2021 CONCACAF men’s player of the year. Since his Canadian debut, he has gone on to win 32 caps, scoring an impressive 12 goals.
The Canadians have a good blend of youth and experience and they will be hoping the younger stars can shine at the 2022 World Cup. At 22 years old Johnathan David is one such player that may light up the World Cup and help Canada’s quest. He plays club football for Lille where he has played 77 times and scored 30 goals while contributing to winning the French Ligue 1 title. His versatility will help Canada as he can play anywhere across and just behind the forward line, finding space, linking play and scoring. Even when he does not have the ball Johnathan David has a phenomenal work rate and presses the opposing defenders when they have the ball. Representing Canada, he has played 32 games and scored 21 goals, already making him the 3rd highest national goal-scorer with a goal ratio of 0.66 per game. In 2022 he played 8 internationals and scored 3 goals and in 2019 he won awards including Canadian Mans Player of the Year and the CONCACAF Gold Cup Golden Boot.
Can Canada Pull Off A World Cup Surprise?
Are the Croatians over the hill and is it time for the new kids on the block in this second round of matches in Group F of the 2022 World Cup? Croatia versus Canada will be an interesting game to call with an ageing and experienced Croatian team coming up against a Canadian team that boasts several young rising stars that have nothing to fear. You can take your time to consider this fixture here at mr.play and take advantage of a sack full of betting markets.