Canada will be desperate to pick up points to maintain their dwindling hopes of advancing to the World Cup knockout stage for the first time in their history when they take on Croatia on Sunday in Group F matchday 2 action.

The Canadians turned in an impressive performance in their tournament opener against Belgium but came away with a 1-0 loss that leaves them buried at the bottom of the table. World Cup finalists four years ago, Croatia must also find a way to pick up the pace after being forced to settle for a scoreless draw in Wednesday’s date with Morocco.

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Croatia vs Canada Betting Preview

Croatia vs Canada Opening Odds

Croatia opened as the -146 favorite, but in the wake of their draw with Morocco, they have faded to +115 chalk, while the Canadians have vaulted to improved +265 underdogs. The odds of this contest ending in a draw are pegged at +265, while the total remains unchanged at 2.5.

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Blazer Goals Coming at a Premium

Croatia dominated possession but was unable to convert on the limited opportunities presented to them in Wednesday’s draw with Morocco. Overall, the Blazers mustered just five total shots, with two hitting the target, despite claiming 65 percent possession, with their best chances coming just before and after the break.

With the draw, Croatia remains undefeated in seven outings across all competitions. But unlike during their march to the final at Russia 2018, when they averaged two goals per match, goals have come at a premium for the Croatians in recent months, with the team potting one or no goals in eight of 11 contests since November 2021.

Despite their slow start, the Blazers remain pegged as a short -140 bet at BetOnline to advance to the knockout stage. However, this team must find a way to spark its offense and get bigger contributions from its biggest stars. That puts the pressure on veterans Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic and Andrej Kramaric, who have potted just three total goals over the squad’s past six outings across all competitions.

Canada Proving They Belong at World Cup

Canada fell short in their first World Cup appearance since 1986, but their performance in Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to Belgium should spark hope among fans and boost confidence among players. Denied the early lead on an Alphonso Davies penalty, Canada maintained steady pressure on the Red Devils, particularly after recess, but was unable to solve Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

The Reds demonstrated surprising confidence while outshooting Belgium by a massive 22-9 margin, hitting the target on three occasions. In addition, the Canadians were denied additional opportunities to stay level with Belgium by what can only be described as questionable officiating.

On a positive note, Alphonso Davies showed no ill effects from the hamstring injury that kept him off the pitch with Bayern Munich in the final two weeks before the tournament. However, Davies must keep his emotions in check in Sunday’s contest after getting slapped with a yellow card late in Wednesday’s opener.

Croatia vs Canada Game Prop: Both Teams to Score

After turning in an impressive performance in Wednesday’s loss to Belgium, it seems a breakthrough for Canada is inevitable. And while Croatia has failed to light up the scoreboard with regularity, they sport simply too much firepower to be kept off the scoresheet for much longer in Qatar.

Croatia: Keys To Victory

Croatia’s efforts were not helped by a slow start that did more to boost the confidence of Morocco and their legions of fans in attendance. The Blazers must dictate the tempo against a highly aggressive and opportunistic Canadian squad, who may not realize they are keeping pace with some of the best football teams in the world.

Canada: Keys To Victory

Canada must avoid a letdown in the wake of their emotional return to the world’s biggest stage, and maintain the constant pressure in opposing territory that came so close to producing the match-tying goal against Belgium. Faced with yet another opponent that has arrived in Qatar amid massive expectations, adhering to head coach John Herdman’s “nothing to lose” approach should add to the pressure on the already beleaguered Blazers.

World Cup Computer Pick: Croatia -146

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Shark Bites
  • UNDER 2.5 has hit in 5 of 7 Croatia matches.
  • Canada is 2-0-4 in its last 6 non-friendly matches.
  • Croatia has scored at least once in 11 of 12 World Cup matches.
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