Croatia play Belgium on Thursday afternoon with both teams still in the running to make the last-16. Will Roberto Martinez’s men head home far earlier than expected? Read here our Croatia vs Belgium predictions, an accurate match preview with betting tips, probable line-ups, team news, how to watch the match on TV, best odds and free bets!
Top Betting Sites to bet our Croatia vs Belgium tips
How to watch Croatia v Belgium
Croatia vs Belgium is scheduled for a 3pm GMT kick-off on Thursday, December 1, 2022.
The venue for Thursday's match is the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, which is located 20km west of Doha in Al Rayyan.
In the United Kingdom, the Belgium vs Croatia match will be broadcast live on BBC One, with streaming available on the BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website.
Croatia vs Belgium Betting Preview
2018 finalists Croatia opened their account in Qatar with a draw against Morocco but then snapped off a 4-1 win over Canada to move atop the group. The Balkan nation boasts one of the strongest midfield of the tournament and are on an eight-game unbeaten run heading into this clash.
Belgium won their opening game 1-0 against Canada in an unconvincing fashion, with the North Americans missing a penalty and wasting plenty of goal chances. Their poor form hit rock bottom with a deserved 2-0 defeat at the hands of Morocco and now the so-called Golden Generation stares down the barrel of losing their final realistic chance at winning the World Cup. Frictions within the Belgium camp have allegedly emerged, something that will certainly affect the team performance.
Hence, after two games, Croatia and Morocco lead the Group F with four points. It means the Checkered Ones simply need to avoid defeat against Belgium to ensure qualification. Anyway, in order to progress as group winner they need to match Morocco's result against Canada and mantian their one goal advantage over the North Africans in the goal differential.
As to Belgium, they sit third in the group standings - one point behind Croatia and Morocco - and need a win to be sure of escaping the group. A draw would be enough to qualify only if Morocco suffer an unlikely heavy defeat at the hands of Canada.
In terms of direct encounters, Belgium are unbeaten in their last three meetings with Croatia, including a narrow 1-0 friendly win in June last year.
According to UK betting sites, it will be very levelled game. Croatia are 17/10 to win win with SpreadEx while Belgium are 7/4 to beat the Balkan team with BetUK. The draw is available at 41/17 with VBet.
Croatia (4-3-3): Livakovic; Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa; Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic; Kramaric, Livaja, Perisic
Croatia boss Dalic is unlikely to make too many changes. Ivan Perisic is expected to recover from a minor issue and start up front alongside Marko Livaja and Andrej Kramaric. The likes of Nikola Vlasic and Mislav Orsic provide further offensive options. In midfield, Mateo Kovacic will retain his berth alongside Luka Modric and Marcelo Brozovic while Josko Gvardiol will partner the veteran Dejan lovren at the heart of the back. Borna Sosa and Josip Juranovic will start as full backs.
Belgium (3-4-2-1): Courtois; Castagne, Alderweireld, Vertonghen; Meunier, Tielemans, Witsel, Trossard; De Bruyne, E. Hazard; Batshuayi
Romelu Lukaku made his first appearance in Qatar, playing the last 10 minutes against Morocco. Anyway, the Inter Milan striker is expected to sit on the bench once again, meaning that Michy Batshuayi will lead the line. Jeremy Doku provides a further alternative. The starting forward will be supported by Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne, while Leandro Trossard and Thomas Meunier will play as wing backs. Timothy Castagne may continue in the back three alongside experienced centre-back duo Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen. In midfield, with Amadou Onana suspended, Axel Witsel will be flanked by Youri Tielemans.
Croatia v Belgium Predictions
Croatia are unbeaten in their last eight matches across all competitions, and have also lost only one of their last 18 internationals since Euro 2020.
Belgium have lost three of their last four games in all competitions but should get a much-needed boost with Lukaku’s return, at least in self-confidence.
It's a hard to predict game, but we expect Croatia to win or draw (Double Chance). Both teams might find the back of the net (Both teams to score) and the correct score could be a 2-1 victory for the Blazers.
With qualification to knockout stage at stake, we expect plenty of bookings and Marcelo Brozovic is our pick in the "player to be booked" betting market.
We suggest you to visit our free bets with no deposit section, select your completely free bets and combine them with our picks on Croatia v Belgium right now!
As you can see, one of our recommended bets relates to bookings. Betting on cards is becoming an incredibly popular market - expecially with Bet Builder sites - and it has proven to be quite profitable to the average bettor. Read here how to bet on bookings.
Looking for other Qatar 2022 predictions? See our FIFA World Cup predictions section, packed with insight from our expert tipsters.
Wanna win £1,000 every week? Try the new Paddy Power's Beat The Drop game, you have 30 days of free entry!