Morocco v Croatia Betting Tips and Picks

  • Morocco v Croatia
  • Wednesday November 23, 2022, 05:00 ET
  • At the Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor

Morocco v Croatia promises to be a fascinating opening game in Group F but Croatia look like the best pick to start with a win.

Who do Bettors Favor?

Checking out the best-rated online sportsbooks it seems clear that bettors are only slightly favoring Croatia to win this game. The 2018 runners-up are available at odds between -105 and -110 to get their tournament off to a winning start, while Morocco can be backed at anything between +320 and +370. The odds on the draw are similarly variable, ranging from +228 to +240.

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World Cup Group F Betting Briefing

It is rare these days to find an easy Group at the World Cup, and although Group F of this year’s tournament may look relatively straightforward there are plenty of potential pitfalls, both for the Group favorites Belgium and the most likely runners-up Croatia.

Belgium’s depth of talent is remarkable but this generation of ultra-gifted players has not managed to turn that ability into trophies and this may be their last chance to do so. They are up against a Croatian team that may not be as strong as it was at the last World Cup, but still features some world-class stars, including Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic.

And neither of the weaker teams in the Group will be pushovers. Canada are rare World Cup qualifiers, but they were by far the best team throughout the CONCACAF qualification tournament, and head to Qatar with a young, improving team, while Morocco will be at home in the conditions and appear to be rejuvenated under their new coach Walid Regragui.

Morocco Pose a Group F Threat

Morocco were poor at AFCON 2021, but the departure of the unpopular coach Vahid Halihodzic in August seems to have galvanized the squad. His replacement, Regragui, has recalled the key trio of Hakim Ziyech, Noussair Mazraoui and Amine Harit and the spirit of the team seems much improved.

The Atlas Lions are ranked 22 by FIFA and qualified in style, taking maximum points from their six games and scoring more goals than any other nation aside from Algeria. They also showed their experience and ability to close out a game when they earned a 1-1 draw in Kinshasa against the Democratic Republic of Congo in their qualifying playoff, winning the second leg 4-1.

While the decline in form of Youssef En-Nesyri has left Morocco without a reliable focal point of the attack, they do have a gritty and well-organized midfield, plenty of experience and one of the best right-backs in world football in Achraf Hakimi, whose attacking runs are often the key to their best moves.

Croatia in Transition

Croatia’s success in reaching the final of the 2018 World Cup was a high point, but the team had been in a steady decline over the last few years, and they struggled to find the same spark throughout a lackluster qualifying campaign in which they eventually finished one point ahead of Russia – though Russia was later disqualified following the invasion of Ukraine.

The retirement of some of the heroes of 2018 was the main problem and it took manager Zlatko Dalic until after qualification was secured to find the right balance. They play a flexible looking 4-3-3 but the most important change Dalic made was to swap young defenders Josip Sutalo and Josko Gvardiol for Dejan Lovren and Domogoj Vida, which gave the team more pace and flexibility in defense.

Although Croatia are still a team in transition, the core of the team remains unchanged. Marcelo Brozovic, Mateo Kovacic and Modric provide the experience and world-class ability that could guide the team through a tough-looking Group.

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World Cup Group F Match Betting Pick

Both of these Group F teams play a neat and progressive style of soccer, and this could be one of the more entertaining games at the World Cup, and a fitting way to open what is a fascinating section.

Morocco’s busy midfield are likely to push the Croatian midfield trio hard and this will be a good early test for Modric and his teammates, while the threat posed by Hakimi on the right flank cannot be ignored and will require the new-look Croatian defense to be alert and well organized.

Where Morocco may struggle is in converting opportunities, given the uncertainty over their starting forwards and that, ultimately, could cost them. I think they can match Croatia for long periods, but the Croatian midfield will eventually win their battle and can orchestrate a narrow win.

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Chris Boline

Chris Boline is an avid sports fan and currently works within the sports industry. He has previously written for outlets covering the NBA G League, Los Angeles Chargers, Mountain West Conference football and basketball and has been a writer for over 10 years. Chris is very involved within his local community and spends his free time working with community organizations, sitting on boards, and spending time with friends and family.

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