FIFA World Cup 2022 : Belgium vs Morocco Match Preview and Lineups

Belgium vs Morocco
GAME Belgium vs Morocco
DATE 28/11/2022
TIME 06:30 PM (Indian Standard Time)
ARENA Al Thumama Stadium
LEAGUE FIFA World Cup 2022
Belgium [0-2] Morocco

Match Preview of Belgium vs Morocco

Aiming to put at least one foot in the knockout stages, Belgium continue their pursuit of a first World Cup on Sunday, when they meet Group F rivals Morocco at Al Thumama Stadium.

After edging out Canada in their opening match, the Red Devils will now seek to tame the Atlas Lions, who held Croatia to a goalless draw.

Having qualified with relative ease, averaging over three goals per game in the process, Belgium kicked off their latest quest for an elusive major trophy on Wednesday evening, as they tackled a nation who had been absent from the World Cup finals for nearly four decades.

Group F outsiders Canada actually thrived on their return to the global stage throughout the first half of the teams' encounter in Al Rayyan and saw an early penalty saved by Thibaut Courtois, but Michy Batshuayi's 44th-minute goal ultimately decided the three points' destiny.

Only starting in place of injured talisman Romelu Lukaku, the Fenerbahce striker secured an all-important opening day win, as several stars including playmaker Kevin De Bruyne - who bizarrely received the official 'Man of the Match' award - endured an off night.

With Croatia and Morocco playing out a goalless draw earlier in the day, Belgium therefore sit at the top of their group ahead of Sunday's second game but will surely need to step their efforts up a notch when facing more challenging opposition.

It is likely that Batshuayi will still shoulder the burden up front for an ageing 'Golden Generation', and his level of success in deputising for the Red Devils' all-time top scorer - Lukaku having scored 68 goals from 102 international appearances and five in 10 World Cup matches - could prove crucial to their hopes in Qatar.

In what may be the last roll of the dice for coach Roberto Martinez, the Belgians still have ambitions to improve on their third-place finish in 2018 but must first take care of business against a country they defeated 1-0 in the only previous World Cup meeting between the two, at USA '94.

While Belgium have now won each of their last eight group stage games at the finals, Morocco have found the going far tougher down the years, so their first-day draw with 2018 runners-up Croatia was celebrated as something of a victory.

Lauded for a solid defensive display after the teams' contest in Al Khor, the Atlas Lions remain in the mix for last-16 qualification, which represents an acceptable state of affairs, as they have failed to even qualify for the World Cup in four of their last five attempts and took just one point from a tough group four years ago.

Our Predicted Lineups

Belgium possible starting lineup:Courtois; Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Dendoncker; Meunier, Onana, Witsel, Carrasco; De Bruyne, E. Hazard; Batshuayi

Morocco possible starting lineup: starting lineup:Bounou; Hakimi, Aguerd, Saiss, Mazraoui; Ounahi, Amrabat, Amallah; Ziyech, En-Nesyri, Boufal

Who will win the match?

We say: Belgium 1-0 Morocco. Surely a Belgium squad still featuring some top-tier performers can put on a brighter display on Sunday, following their limp start to the World Cup. Despite being stifled to an extent by a capable Morocco side, they can rely on a moment or two of individual brilliance to secure their second straight win and start thinking about the knockout rounds.

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