World Cup 2022: Best bet for Canada-Croatia

By Nigel Seeley  (VSIN.com) 

November 26, 2022 11:49 AM
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Best bet for Canada-Croatia

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What a day we have just had at the World Cup 2022 the big names have certainly arrived at the party but the biggest disappointment for any team is just how Canada failed to net anything from their opening match against Belgium.

The Canucks gained no points, but so much respect in their first game back at the World Cup after 30 years with a swashbuckling display from the first whistle to the last, accumulating 22 shots on the Belgian goal. Coach John Herdman, commented after the game that his side produced a “statistically winning performance.”

Crucially though, it meant nothing as Canada have still not scored in a World Cup, and when Bayern Munich’s full-back Alphonso Davies stepped up to take his penalty in the 10th minute, the nerves certainly showed.

Much to their credit, Herdman’s troops rallied instead of letting their heads drop to continue putting pressure on the lackluster Belgians with relentless vigor. Where they lacked in guile and quality, they definitely made up in enthusiasm and passion, something which Herdman is seemingly very good at instilling into any of his squads --and an attribute Belgium could greatly benefit from.

Herdman, winner of the Olympic Gold in both 2012 and 2016 coaching the women’s team, isn’t sheepish in displaying his passion in public either.

A 0-0 draw versus a passionate Moroccan side on Wednesday produced their lowest shot count in a World Cup game (five shots). Perhaps now that they’re not underdogs and expected to advance easily has become somewhat of a hindrance, and perhaps it’ll take a bit more than usual for Dalic to really inspire his compatriots. 

There’s absolutely no doubt he has an abundance of quality in all areas of the pitch but against Morocco they sometimes lacked the cohesion they showed during Euro 2020 and in Russia on their way to the final. 

Canada’s strengths lie in its overall speed in quick pressing and transitioning in counter attacks, especially with Alphonso Davies, Jonathan David and Porto’s Stephen Eustaquio, who are capable of terrorizing any defense at this tournament once they get going on the front foot. 

Herdman knows his backline is weak and primarily made up of players from FC Toronto and Montreal, and will be keen to utilize his offensive weapons as much as possible with his defense staying as organized to Luka Modric’s usual deft passing. 

Canada will have gained a lot of confidence against Belgium and we’ll take them at +0.5 at -136 in a match where I will be in attendance. It’s a game where I expect a fired-up Canada to show that it is one of the emerging nations in the soccer world.

Pick: Canada +0.5 at -136

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