Kick-off: 1900, 23/11/2022
Stadium: Ahmad bin Ali Stadium
Belgium will be looking to build on finishing third at Russia 2018 when they begin their Qatar 2022 World Cup campaign by facing Canada.
The Red Devils are rated a cut above on the FIFA rankings at two compared to 43, although the Maple Leafs are an enterprising outfit on the up.
We’re going with the favourites to win and both teams to score at 3.0 in our first Belgium vs Canada prediction.
Belgium were just edged out by France in the semis four years ago and have also reached the quarter-finals at the last two European Championships.
Their golden generation is not getting any younger but the experience gained from those campaigns should stand them in good stead here.
Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Axel Witzel, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Dries Mertens all have more than 100 caps.
Kevin De Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois are not far from reaching a century, so we certainly know what we are getting with this settled squad.
With so many key players featuring among a long list of 30-somethings, it is probably now or never in terms of lifting this trophy, though.
Another smooth qualifying campaign saw the Red Devils claim six wins and away draws in Wales and the Czech Republic, with 25 goals scored.
However, in those fixtures and the Nations League, Roberto Martinez’s men often let in just the odd goal.
Canada have come on in leaps and bounds since appointing Englishman John Herdman as manager in 2018.
Les Rouges reached last year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-finals and then qualified for their second World Cup in fine style.
Eight wins and four draws from 14 fixtures proved enough to shade Mexico on goal difference, with USA and Costa Rica three points back.
This will be just the second time they have featured on soccer’s biggest stage and things did not go well on the last occasion.
Canada lost to France, Hungary and the old Soviet Union at Mexico 86, failing to even score a goal.
However, the current squad will be confident of improving on that display and defender Alistair Johnston declared: “We’re going there to compete, baby.
“We’re not going there just to show up. We’re gonna go there and we want to turn some heads.”
With Croatia and Morocco also in this pool, it will not be easy but an enthusiastic and energetic squad is epitomised by the incredibly athletic Bayern Munich ace Alphonso Davies.
We reckon Les Rouges will be competitive here but 4.0 for Draw HT/Belgium FT completes our Belgium vs Canada betting tips.
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