Kick-off: 1000, 23/11/2022
Stadium: Al Bayt Stadium
Croatia and Morocco had very different experiences in Russia four years ago but their match at the 2022 World Cup could be a close one to call.
The Blazers and the Atlas Lions have been drawn in an interesting section with much-heralded Belgium and qualification shock troops Canada.
Although the European pair are fancied to go through, we don’t expect them to get things all their own way and an opening draw at 11/5 is our first Morocco vs Croatia prediction.
Morocco’s 2018 World Cup adventure can be filed in the unlucky drawer. They lost to an injury-time own goal against Iran, Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal when they played Portugal and they were moments away from beating Spain before a last-gasp leveller from Iago Aspas.
It was a thrilling but ultimately disappointing ride and a world away from their march to Qatar 2022.
They sailed through the first stage of qualifying, scoring 20 goals and conceding just one in six wins from six, and while four of the five third-round games in Africa were tight affairs, Morocco then thumped DR Congo 5-2 over two legs.
That aggregate win was the perfect way to bounce back from the disappointment of their Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final exit at the hands of Egypt at the start of this year.
September’s warm-up friendlies brought more encouragement, via a 2-0 triumph over Chile and a goalless stalemate with Paraguay.
Head coach Walid Regragui has brought about the return of star man Hakim Ziyech after the Chelsea ace fell out with predecessor Vahid Halilhodzic.
The 29-year-old winger has scored 18 goals in 43 appearances for the national team after netting in a 3-0 warm-up win over Georgia.
PSG wing-back Achraf Hakimi, former Wolves defender Romain Saiss and forwards Youssef En-Nesyri and Sofiane Boufal are all proven performers.
The Atlas Lions could make life difficult for the more fancied teams in Group F and they can be backed at Morocco vs Croatia odds.
Croatia lit up the World Cup four years ago, as they made it all the way to the final before losing to France.
They sent out a message by thumping Argentina in the second group game and proved they were up for a fight by outlasting Denmark, Russia (both games won on penalties) and England (extra-time) in the knockout stage.
Luka Modric was Croatia’s main man, and he still is, but the player voted the tournament’s best in Russia is now 37 and will be without a couple of key team-mates lost to retirement.
Modric and his current colleagues have continued to look good this year, though, recovering from a 3-0 opening defeat against Austria to top a Nations League pool featuring France and Denmark, finishing with four straight wins.
Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic and Tottenham new boy Ivan Perisic are other ultra-reliable hard workers, while Hoffenheim front man Andrej Kramaric is a useful goalscorer.
This opening World Cup tie has the makings of a cracker and the 29/2 available for the north Africans to be leading at half-time before a full-time draw completes our Morocco vs Croatia betting tips.
Join bwin today and receive up to £20 money back as a FreeBet if your first wager (3+ selections at odds of 1/2 (1.5) or greater) is a loser! Terms and conditions apply.