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Belgium vs Canada World Cup picks and predictions: Another wait over

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First day in Group F could not present two more contrasting situations.

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Belgium enters World Cup 2022 bearing the burden of knowing it’s all for a golden generation that took them to world No 1 for the first time – and kept them there for seven years – with a third-place finish in Russia four years ago years, their best result to show for it.

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Meanwhile, their enemies ride a reinvigorated nation towards Qatar, as Canada are back in the most prestigious tournament on the planet after 36 years.

Unsurprisingly, Belgium is of age World Cup odds favorites here, but don’t expect Canada to play with fear – our World Cup picks have more ahead of Belgium kicking off against Canada on November 23.

Belgium vs Canada Odds

Picks and predictions Belgium vs Canada

Canada’s only other appearance at a World Cup, in 1986, didn’t really leave many memories for a nation as the Canadians left Mexico scoreless. Fast forward 36 years and—those three and a half decades aside—Canada won’t have to wait long to achieve this historic goal.

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Although I expect Belgium to largely dominate the proceedings, win and score – as they have done in all but two competitive games under Roberto Martinez – they are also forming well as an opponent than the Canada can drill to find that elusive World Cup goal.

For as solid as Belgium have been, their defensive stability deserves to be questioned. Between World Cup qualifiers and the last Nations League, they have conceded 10 of their last 14 competitive matches – with three of four clean sheets against Belarus and Czechia, both of whom are not in the FIFA Cup. world.

The Belgians push high up the pitch in possession, with full-backs bombarding forward to give width to their four-man midfield, and their three centre-backs holding a high line. That high line requires keeper Thibaut Courtois to be on point as a goalkeeper – which he is – but also leaves them incredibly susceptible to a counter-attack.

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Canada won’t need an invite to kick a counter, as one of the best-equipped teams to do so in Qatar. They do a superb job of quickly getting the ball into the feet of Stephen Eustaquio, who can hit absolutely any pass needed, and then it’s off.

In Alphonso Davies, Jonathan David and Tajon Buchanan, they have a trio of decisive and inventive forwards who thrive on the counter and have the pace to burn through any backline – let alone a high, slow line like the one in the Belgium.

Courtois’ heroism could frustrate Canada on the counterattack, but with Belgium’s time in Canada’s half there will be plenty of opportunities to counterattack. Canada’s world-class attacking talent won’t need too many to punish Belgium and make history.

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my best bet: Both teams to score (+110 on PointsBet)

Belgium vs Canada side analysis

Canada are fearless and have produced some fantastic results under difficult circumstances in their run at the World Cup, but a result against Belgium would be a bridge too far.

They are still a fairly young side with little tournament experience, especially with the national side that made it to the Gold Cup semi-finals last summer largely on rotation. Now they come up against a true heavyweight who has several majors together and, most recently in a World Cup, a run to the semi-finals.

As with almost all opponents, Belgium can be expected to dominate the ball and live in their opponent’s half. Their midfield allows them to retain possession of the ball and their attacking prowess is bad news for a Canadian team that has big question marks surrounding its defence. I expect Canada to be able to punish Belgium’s high line at least once, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Belgium score three.

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At -225 on the moneyline, there is no value to be had with Belgium. At +135 for Belgium -1, however, I’d be comfortable taking them.

Covers World Cup betting tools

Belgium vs Canada Over/Under Analysis

With the Over on a 2.5 goal line at -120, against -110 at Under, I wouldn’t hesitate to hit the Over and would also be tempted by the Over 2.5 over the Belgium team’s total (+210).

With the way Belgium floods the attacking third and the talent they have, they could really punish a Canadian team that lacks top-end talent in their defensive line. Romelu Lukaku’s poor fitness is, potentially, the only thing that could save them from a multi-goal deficit.

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However, as written in Best Bet, I believe Canada has the experience and talent on the counter to hit Belgium and score as well. I will be looking to achieve the most of 2.5 for the Belgium team total (+210) and an alternate game total of 3.5 (+220).

Match info Belgium vs Canada

Location: Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar
Date: Wednesday, November 23, 2022
Time: 2:00 p.m. ET
TV: FOX

Key injuries between Belgium and Canada

Belgium: Romelu Lukaku (Doubtful).
Canada: Alphonso Davies (Doubtful).

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