Fifa World Cup Today: Germany, Spain And Croatia Come To The Party

Three former finalists enter the tournament on Wednesday
07:00, 23 Nov 2022

The games continue to come thick and fast in the Fifa World Cup, with another eight teams making their 2022 debuts on day four of the event. That octet includes four-time winners Germany, 2010 champions Spain and 2018 runners-up Croatia.

Here is everything you need to know about Wednesday’s action.

Morocco v Croatia - Group F

Where: Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor

When: 10am (GMT) / 1pm (AST)

TV: ITV1, STV and ITV Hub

Referee: Fernando Rapallini (Argentina)

Last meeting: Morocco 2-2 Croatia (Casablanca, 1996)

Morocco’s last five: Won 3-0 v Georgia, Drew 0-0 v Paraguay, Won 2-0 v Chile, Won 2-0 v Liberia, Won 2-1 v South Africa

Morocco’s World Cup record: Sixth finals appearance (Best: Round of 16, 1986) Total Games: 16, Won 2, Drawn 5, Lost 9. Win percentage 13%

Croatia’s last five: Won 1-0 v Saudi Arabia, Won 3-1 v Austria, Won 2-1 v Denmark, Won 1-0 v France, Won 1-0 v Denmark

Croatia’s World Cup record: Sixth finals appearance (Best: Runners-up, 2018) Total Games 23, Won 11, Drawn 4, Lost 8. Win percentage 48%

Morocco squad: 1 Yassine Bounou, 2 Achraf Hakimi, 3 Noussair Mazraoui, 4 Sofyan Amrabat, 5 Nayef Aguerd, 6 Romain Saiss, 7 Hakim Ziyech, 8 Azzedine Ounahi, 9 Abderrazak Hamdallah, 10 Anass Zaroury, 11 Abdelhamid Sabiri, 12 Munir Mohamedi, 13 Ilias Chair, 14 Zakaria Aboukhlal, 15 Selim Amallah, 16 Abde Ezzalzouli, 17 Sofiane Boufal, 18 Jawad El Yamiq, 19 Youssef En-Nesyri, 20 Achraf Dari, 21 Walid Cheddira, 22 Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti, 23 Bilal El Khannous, 24 Badr Benoun, 25 Yahia Attiyat Allah, 26 Yahya Jabrane

Croatia squad: 1 Dominik Livakovic, 2 Josip Stanisic, 3 Borna Barisic, 4 Ivan Perisic, 5 Martin Erlic, 6 Dejan Lovren, 7 Lovro Majer, 8 Mateo Kovacic, 9 Andrej Kramaric, 10 Luka Modric, 11 Marcelo Brozovic, 12 Ivo Grbic, 13 Nikola Vlasic, 14 Marko Livaja, 15 Mario Pasalic, 16 Bruno Petkovic, 17 Ante Budimir, 18 Mislav Orsic, 19 Borna Sosa, 20 Josko Gvardiol, 21 Domagoj Vida, 22 Josip Juranovic, 23 Ivica Ivusic, 24 Josip Sutalo, 25 Luka Susic, 26 Kristijan Jakic

Preview: Coming into any major tournament with the likes of Romain Saiss, Achraf Hakimi and Hakim Ziyech in your squad would give any nation hope of leaving some kind of impression. But the recent sacking of coach Vahid Halilhodzic due to a falling out with Ziyech has threatened to throw a spanner in the works ahead of a Group F campaign in which Croatia and Belgium are big favourites to claim the top two positions. If new boss Walid Regragui can ensure harmony, there is a chance that they can claim something from their games with either European giants and therefore put themselves in which an outside shot of knockout football.

Croatia might not have the oldest squad in Qatar statistically but they are punctuated with players who will surely be playing their last major tournament. Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic, Dejan Lovren and Domagoj Vida are all 33 or over, while Marcelo Brozovic and Andrej Kramaric are also beyond the 30 mark, and while there might be something of a changing of the guard evident in Zlatko Dalic's selection compared to their 2018 World Cup finalists, many of their expected stars will need to show they have it in them to put in big performances every four days if they are to emulate their success in Russia.

Sportsman stat: In their five previous World Cup appearances, whenever Croatia have progressed from their group they have reached at least the semi-finals. Other than their three group exits, they were semi-finalists in 1998 and finalists four years ago.

Betfred match odds: Morocco 16/5, Croatia evens, draw 9/4

Both teams to score: No 4/6, Yes 11/10

Featured bet: Morocco 2-2 Croatia 16/1

To qualify from Group F: Morocco 11/5, Croatia 2/5


Germany v Japan - Group E

Where: Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan

When: 1pm (GMT) / 4pm (AST)

TV: ITV1, STV and ITV Hub

Referee: Ivan Barton (El Salvador)

Last meeting: Germany 2-2 Japan (Leverkusen, 2006)

Germany’s last five: Won 1-0 v Oman, Drew 3-3 v England, Lost 0-1 v Hungary, Won 5-2 v Italy, Drew 1-1 v Hungary

Germany’s World Cup record: 20th finals appearance (Best: Winners, 1954, 1974, 1990, 2014) Total games: 109, Won 67, Drawn 20, Lost 22. Win percentage 61%.

Japan’s last five: Lost 1-2 v Canada, Drew 0-0 v Ecuador, Won 2-0 v USA, Won 3-0 v South Korea, Drew 0-0 v China 

Japan’s World Cup record: Seventh finals appearance (Best: Round of 16, 2002, 2010, 2018) Total games: 21, Won 5, Drawn 5, Lost 11. Win percentage 24%

Germany squad: 1 Manuel Neuer, 2 Antonio Rudiger, 3 David Raum, 4 Matthias Ginter, 5 Thilo Kehrer, 6 Joshua Kimmich, 7 Kai Havertz, 8 Leon Goretzka, 9 Niclas Fullkrug, 10 Serge Gnabry, 11 Mario Gotze, 12 Kevin Trapp, 13 Thomas Muller, 14 Jamal Musiala, 15 Niklas Sule, 16 Lukas Klostermann, 17 Julian Brandt, 18 Jonas Hofmann, 19 Leroy Sane, 20 Christian Gunter, 21 Ilkay Gundogan, 22 Marc-Andre ter Stegen, 23 Nico Schlotterbeck, 24 Karim Adeyemi, 25 Armel Bella-Kotchap, 26 Youssoufa Moukoko

Japan squad: 1 Eiji Kawashima, 2 Miki Yamane, 3 Shogo Taniguchi, 4 Ko Itakura, 5 Yuto Nagatomo, 6 Wataru Endo, 7 Gaku Shibasaki, 8 Ritsu Doan, 9 Kaoru Mitoma, 10 Takumi Minamino, 11 Takefusa Kubo, 12 Shuichi Gonda, 13 Hidemasa Morita, 14 Junya Ito, 15 Daichi Kamada, 16 Takehiro Tomiyasu, 17 Ao Tanaka, 18 Takuma Asano, 19 Hiroki Sakai, 20 Shuto Machino, 21 Ayase Ueda, 22 Maya Yoshida, 23 Daniel Schmidt, 24 Yuki Soma, 25 Daizen Maeda, 26 Hiroki Ito

Preview: Germany just don't do World Cup group stage exits, yet that is exactly what happened in 2018 and they will be extra determined to make up for their disastrous last campaign when they get their 2022 campaign underway in Al Rayyan. Following the end of Jogi Low's 15-year reign as head coach, Hansi Flick gets his first crack at tournament football with Die Mannschaft, and all eyes will be on their forward line to produce on the big stage in a way they were unable to in Russia four years ago. They are missing the injured Timo Werner, meaning Serge Gnabry's 20 goals mark the highest international return of any of their front players. Much may again depend on the influence of Thomas Muller and Mario Gotze.

The credentials of Hajime Moriyasu's Japan have been undermined somewhat by Qatar's dismal performance on Sunday, with the hosts having shocked the Samurai Blue in the 2019 Asian Cup final. Moriyasu will believe that he has a much better prepared squad three years on though, with 12 of that 23-player group in 2019 having made fewer than 10 appearances for their country before the tournament began. This time around they have a far more experienced selection at international level, although only Takumi Minamino and captain Maya Yoshida have netted more than 10 times for Japan.

Sportsman stat: Keisuke Honda is Japan's top goalscorer in World Cup finals tournament, with his four goals coming across three group stages in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Betfred match odds: Germany 9/20, Japan 6/1, draw 18/5

Favourites for first goalscorer: Niclas Fullkrug (Germany) 4/1, Youssoufa Moukoko (Germany) 4/1, Serge Gnabry (Germany) 9/2

Featured bet: Ilkay Gundogan 3+ shots on target 15/2

To qualify from Group E: Germany 1/6, Japan 3/1


Spain v Costa Rica - Group E

Where: Al Thumama Stadium, Doha

When: 4pm (GMT) / 7pm (AST)

TV: ITV1, STV and ITV Hub

Referee: Mohammed Abdulla Hassan Mohamed (United Arab Emirates)

Last meeting: Spain 5-0 Costa Rica (Malaga, 2017)

Spain’s last five: Won 3-1 v Jordan, Won 1-0 v Portugal, Lost 1-2 v Switzerland, Won 2-0 v Czech Republic, Won 1-0 v Switzerland

Spain’s World Cup record: 16th finals appearance (Best: Winners, 2010) Total games: 63, Won 30, Drawn 15, Lost 18. Win percentage 48%

Costa Rica’s last five: Won 2-0 v Nigeria, Won 2-1 v Uzbekistan, Drew 2-2 v South Korea, Won 1-0 v New Zealand, Won 2-0 v Martinique

Costa Rica’s World Cup record: Sixth finals appearance (Best: Quarter-finals, 2014) Total games: 18, Won 5, Drawn 5, Lost 8. Win percentage 28%

Spain squad: 1 Robert Sanchez, 2 Cesar Azpilicueta, 3 Eric Garcia, 4 Pau Torres, 5 Sergio Busquets, 6 Marcos Llorente, 7 Alvaro Morata, 8 Koke, 9 Gavi, 10 Marco Asensio, 11 Ferran Torres, 12 Nico Williams, 13 David Raya, 14 Alejandro Balde, 15 Hugo Guillamon, 16 Rodri, 17 Yeremy Pino, 18 Jordi Alba, 19 Carlos Soler, 20 Dani Carvajal, 21 Dani Olmo, 22 Pablo Sarabia, 23 Unai Simon, 24 Aymeric Laporte, 25 Ansu Fati, 26 Pedri

Costa Rica squad: 1 Keylor Navas, 2 Daniel Chacon, 3 Juan Pablo Vargas, 4 Keysher Fuller, 5 Celso Borges, 6 Oscar Duarte, 7 Anthony Contreras, 8 Bryan Oviedo, 9 Jewison Bennette, 10 Bryan Ruiz, 11 Johan Venegas, 12 Joel Campbell, 13 Gerson Torres, 14 Youstin Salas, 15 Francisco Calvo, 16 Carlos Martinez, 17 Yeltsin Tejeda, 18 Esteban Alvarado, 19 Kendall Waston, 20 Brandon Aguilera, 21 Douglas Lopez, 22 Ronaldo Matarrita, 23 Patrick Sequeira, 24 Roan Wilson, 25 Anthony Hernandez, 26 Alvaro Zamora

Preview: Spain might not be the star-studded team of 12 years ago, with David Villa, Fernando Torres, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique long gone from the scenes these days, but they proved at Euro 2020 last year that they still can find a way to go deep into competitions. Head coach Luis Enrique has a squad of players who could, on their day, threaten to win this tournament, with eight of their 26 players coming from La Liga leaders Barcelona, three from Atletico Madrid and two each from Real Madrid, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain. Only Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba remain of the team which won Spain's last major trophy at Euro 2012.

For a nation which has rarely competed in the World Cup, Costa Rica have a decent record at this level. Their debut tournament in 1990 saw them qualify alongside Brazil from Group C, while they topped a group involving Uruguay, Italy and England in 2014 before beating Greece on penalties and coming within another shootout of the semi-finals before losing out to the Netherlands. That history means Luis Fernando Suarez's side have a lot to live up to, and most of their bigger names - Keylor Navas, Bryan Oviedo, captain Bryan Ruiz and Joel Campbell - are now into their thirties. In a very difficult-looking group, Costa Rica will have to go some to progress. But they have succeeded from similar positions before!

Sportsman stat: Spain's squad going into Euro 2012 combined for 1391 caps at an average of 60 appearances each, whereas their current squad has a total of 733 international games at 28 apiece.

Betfred match odds: Spain 1/7, Costa Rica 20/1, draw 7/1

Favourites for first goalscorer: Alvaro Morata (Spain) 3/1, Ansu Fati (Spain) 7/2, Ferran Torres (Spain) 4/1

Featured bet: Spain to win both halves 23/20

To qualify from Group E: Spain 1/9, Costa Rica 8/1


Belgium v Canada - Group F

Where: Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan

When: 7pm (GMT) / 10pm (AST)

TV: BBC One, BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport website

Referee: Janny Sikazwe (Zambia)

Last meeting: Canada 0-2 Belgium (Ottawa, 1989)

Belgium’s last five: Lost 1-2 v Egypt, Lost 0-2 v Netherlands, Won 2-1 v Wales, Won 1-0 v Poland, Drew 1-1 v Wales

Belgium’s World Cup record: 14th finals appearance (Best: Third place, 2018) Total games: 48, Won 20, Drawn 9, Lost 19. Win percentage 42%

Canada's last five: Won 2-1 v Japan, Drew 2-2 v Bahrain, Lost 0-2 v Uruguay, Won 2-0 v Qatar, Lost 1-2 v Honduras

Canada’s World Cup record: Second finals appearance (Best: Group stage, 1986) Total games: 3, Won 0, Drawn 0, Lost 3. Win percentage 0%

Belgium squad: 1 Thibaut Courtois, 2 Toby Alderweireld, 3 Arthur Theate, 4 Wout Faes, 5 Jan Vertonghen, 6 Axel Witsel, 7 Kevin De Bruyne, 8 Youri Tielemans, 9 Romelu Lukaku, 10 Eden Hazard, 11 Yannick Carrasco, 12 Simon Mignolet, 13 Koen Casteels, 14 Dries Mertens, 15 Thomas Meunier, 16 Thorgan Hazard, 17 Leandro Trossard, 18 Amadou Onana, 19 Leander Dendoncker, 20 Hans Vanaken, 21 Timothy Castagne, 22 Charles De Ketelaere, 23 Michy Batshuayi, 24 Lois Openda, 25 Jeremy Doku, 26 Zeno Debast

Canada squad: 1 Dayne St. Clair, 2 Alistair Johnston, 3 Sam Adekugbe, 4 Kamal Miller, 5 Steven Vitoria, 6 Samuel Piette, 7 Stephen Eustaguio, 8 Liam Fraser, 9 Lucas Cavalini, 10 Junior Hoilett, 11 Tajon Buchanan, 12 Ike Ugbo, 13 Atiba Hutchinson, 14 Mark-Anthony Kaye, 15 Ismael Kone, 16 James Pantemis, 17, Cyle Larin, 18 Milan Borjan, 19 Alphonso Davies, 20 Jonathan David, 21 Jonathan Osoriom, 22 Richie Laryea, 23 Liam Miller, 24 David Wotherspoon, 25 Derek Cornelius, 26 Joel Waterman

Preview: Belgium's 'Golden Generation' has given way to an olden generation, with 15 of their 26-player squad aged 29 or over, and Roberto Martinez is under pressure to finally get something out of this team six-and-a-half years on from replacing Marc Wilmots as head coach. They still have a host of big-name players who can add something special to any game, but that has been the case for some time now and for many of this squad it could be a final opportunity to get Belgium to a final. Eden Hazard remains a go-to star, even if he admitted in recent days that he is no longer the player he was following his troubled move to Real Madrid in 2019. The Red Devils have firepower in the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Michy Batshuayi, and that is something few nations can offer.

Canada haven't been on this stage since their debut back in 1986, when they lost all three games without scoring a goal. Against that kind of backdrop, anything John Herdman's side can achieve might be considered a bonus, but with Bayern Munich's Alphonso Davies leading their attack there is every chance they could cause the odd upset in Group F. Eleven of their squad ply their trade in Major League Soccer, with six playing for CF Montreal and three at Toronto FC.

Sportsman stat: Canada's Atiba Hutchinson is the second-oldest player at the tournament and the oldest captain, aged 39 years, nine months and nine days.

Betfred match odds: Belgium 8/15, Canada 11/2, draw 10/3

Favourites for first goalscorer: Michy Batshuayi (Belgium) 3/1, Romelu Lukaku (Belgium) 3/1, Lois Openda (Belgium) 9/2

Featured bet: Kevin De Bruyne 3+ shots on target 11/4

To qualify from Group F: Belgium 1/6, Canada 11/4


*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject to Change

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