Big Match Predictor: Spain Vs Costa Rica, Morocco Vs Croatia

Ansu Fati
Ansu Fati

Wednesday sees Group E and F crank into gear in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Below you can find stats, key players and tips to help you with your Big Match Predictions!

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Group F: Morocco vs Croatia (23/11, 12pm SAST)


- The Atlas Lions sit 22nd in the FIFA World Rankings. WWWDW is their recent form.

- Morocco have outstanding fullback options in Paris Saint-Germain's Achraf Hakimi and Noussair Mazraoui of Bayern Munich. Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech is also back in the squad.

- Morocco have lost just two of their past 39 matches. They've kept clean sheets in their past four matches.

- Morocco have played in five previous World Cups, including reaching the round of 16 in 1986. They've won once in their past nine World Cup fixtures.


- Hrvatska are ranked 12th in the FIFA rankings. Their form is very strong: WWWWW.

- Croatia have one of the tournament's best midfields in Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea) and Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan).

- Croatia have lost just once in 16 matches. They won seven and drew two of their final nine World Cup qualifiers.

- They reached the final in 2018 but were beaten 4-2 by winners France. They also finished third in their first World Cup after independence in 1998.

Predicted Result: Croatia WIN. Morocco have some good players but Croatia are too strong in midfield.

Recommended Scoreline Options: 2-1 or 3-1

Group E: Germany vs Japan (23/11, 3pm SAST)


- Die Mannschaft sit 11th in the latest FIFA World Rankings. Their form coming into the tournament reads: DWLDW.

- Speedy forward Timo Werner misses the World Cup due to injury. Bayern Munich's Joshua Kimmich and Thomas Muller (10 World Cup goals) are key players.

- Germany have lost just once in 16 matches. They won their past seven World Cup qualifiers, conceding just three goals.

- As West Germany (until 1990) and Germany (1994 onwards), Hansi Flick's side have won four World Cups, including in 2014. In 2018, however, they failed to reach the knockout stage.


- According to the FIFA World Rankings, Japan are 24th. DWWDL is their recent form guide.

- Monaco's Takumi Minamino is a key man in midfield. Arsenal's Takehiro Tomiyasu will play at the back, while Real Sociedad winger Takefusa Kubo is one to watch.

- Japan kept five clean sheets in a row prior to a surprise 2-1 loss to Canada in their final friendly before the tournament.

- Japan have played in six previous World Cups, including co-hosting in 2002. They've reached the round of 16 on three occasions, most recently in 2018 in Russia.

Predicted Result: Germany WIN. With an outstanding midfield, Hansi Flick's side should dominate this one.

Recommended Scoreline Options: 2-0 or 3-1

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Group E: Spain vs Costa Rica (23/11, 6pm SAST)


- La Furia Roja sit 7th in the FIFA World Rankings. Their form coming into the tournament reads: WWLWW.

- Barcelona’s young duo Pedri and Ansu Fati are two to watch in midfield. Manchester City's Aymeric Laporte is key at the back.

- Spain won six of their eight matches in World Cup qualifying. They recently topped their UEFA Nations League group by beating Portugal.

- Spain have one World Cup to their name after lifting the trophy in 2010 in South Africa. In 2014, they didn't reach the knockout stage, while n 2018, they were knocked out in the round of 16.

Costa Rica:

- Costa Rica are ranked 31st in the world, the lowest in Group E. Their recent form is very strong: WWDWW.

- PSG's Keylor Navas is crucial in goal, while former Arsenal forward Joel Campbell remains an important player.

- Costa Rica reached the tournament through the play-offs, beating New Zealand 1-0. They have lost only once in 13 matches.

- In the 2014 World Cup, Los Ticos beat Italy and Uruguay in the group stage and only lost on penalties to the Netherlands in the quarter-finals. They did not reach the knockouts in 2018.

Predicted Result: Spain WIN. Luis Enrique's side are not reliant on a single player but should have enough quality to get a win.

Recommended Scoreline Options: 3-1 or 4-2

Group F: Belgium vs Canada (23/11, 9pm SAST)


- Belgium sit 2nd in the FIFA World Rankings, having been in top spot at one stage. Their recent form reads: DWWLL.

- The Red Devils have arguably the world's best goalkeeper and No. 10 in Thibaut Courtois and Kevin De Bruyne, respectively. Top striker Romelu Lukaku is an injury doubt, however.

- Belgium have lost five of their past 13 fixtures, including their last two: 1-0 to the Netherlands and 2-1 to Egypt in a friendly.

- Roberto Martinez's side finished third in the 2018 World Cup after losing 1-0 to France in the semi-finals. It was their best performance at the showpiece in their 13th World Cup appearance.


- Canada are ranked 41st in the world, the sixth-lowest ranked side at the tournament. LWLDW is the recent form guide.

- Alphonso Davies of Bayern Munich is the star man down the left, while Lille striker Jonathan David will be the team's chief source of goals.

- The Maple Leafs topped their CONCACAF qualifying group ahead of Mexico and the USA. They reached the Gold Cup semi-finals in 2021.

- Canada are playing in only their second World Cup, and their first since 1986. They lost all three matches at that tournament.

Predicted Result: Belgium WIN. Canada are an improving nation but the Red Devils should have far too much for them.

Recommended Scoreline Options: 3-0 or 4-0

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