Croatia vs Morocco Tips: Betting Odds, Preview & Predictions For The World Cup Third Place Play-Off
Croatia vs Morocco Predictions:
- Morocco To Win - 11/5 With Bet365
- Hakim Ziyech To Score Anytime - 7/2 With Betfair
- Under 2.5 Goals - Evens With Bet365
Croatia will take on Morocco in the third-place play-off at World Cup 2022 on Saturday, with the best betting sites giving the European side the slight advantage.
This is a fixture which rarely sets pulses racing, but this weekend’s bronze-medal match could be a better watch than many previous editions.
Both Croatia and Morocco overachieved by reaching the last four, and while both will obviously be disappointed not to be in the final, they will not be quite as down as Argentina and France would have been had they been beaten in midweek.
Indeed, both teams will be keen to end their excellent campaigns on a high by securing third place at the tournament in Qatar.
Here is how we see the action at the Khalifa International Stadium playing out this weekend.
Morocco Out to Cause One Final Upset on Saturday
It is fair to say that few anticipated these two teams reaching the semi-finals after they played out a 0-0 draw on matchday one of the group stage.
Neither team was at its best that day, but Morocco showed plenty of grit and resilience that suggested they could spring a surprise or two at this World Cup.
So it proved. The Atlas Lions have made history this winter, becoming the first African nation in the history of the competition to reach the last four.
After victories over Belgium and Canada saw them secure first place in Group F, Walid Regragui’s side stunned Spain and Portugal to advance to the semis.
Morocco were not able to shock France on Wednesday, but nor were they outclassed by the world champions.
Even after losing three of the four members of their first-choice back four, Morocco were in the game right up until Randal Kolo Muani’s goal in the 79th minute.
By contrast, Croatia looked leggy in their 3-0 loss to Argentina. Given that they competed in the World Cup final four years ago, Zlatko Dalic’s team may find it harder than Morocco to raise themselves for the occasion.
With that in mind, have a punt on the Atlas Lions to cause one more upset on Saturday – they can be backed to win at a best price of 11/5 with football betting sites.
Look Out For Wide Players in the Anytime Goal Market
Whereas Golden Glove contender Dominik Livakovic has proved to be an able successor to Danijel Subasic between the sticks, Croatia have found it harder to replace Mario Mandzukic at the other end of the pitch.
Over the last few weeks Dalic has tried Andrej Kramaric, Ante Budimir and Marko Livaja up front – including all three at different stages of the last-16 clash with Japan – and none has really convinced.
Kramaric has fared the best in that role but he is more of a second striker than an out-and-out centre-forward. Croatia have therefore relied on several players chipping in with goals: their six goals at this tournament have been scored by five different squad members.
As for Morocco, Romain Saiss, Zakaria Aboukhlal, Hakim Ziyech and Youssef En-Nesyri have all found the net so far – and we fancy the Chelsea forward to do so again on Sunday.
Croatia right-back Josip Juranovic will push down the flank whenever there is a chance to do so, and Ziyech could exploit the space in behind.
The silky left-footer will be one of Morocco’s main attacking threats on Saturday; back him to score at 7/2 with betting apps.
Tip: Back Hakim Ziyech To Score Anytime - 7/2 With Betfair
Goals Could Be Few and Far Between in Al Rayyan
In five of the last six World Cups, the third-place play-off has featured more goals than the final.
The exception was 2018 when Belgium ran out 2-0 winners against England to claim bronze, before France beat Croatia 4-2 to win the trophy.
We reckon a second successive third-place play-off could contain two goals or fewer.
It is true that the pressure is off to an extent, so we should see a more open game than the aforementioned 0-0 draw between these two teams last month.
Nevertheless, it has been a gruelling and intense last few weeks for Croatia and Morocco, and it would not be a surprise if visible fatigue – both mental and physical – was on show at the Khalifa.
Moreover, Croatia have only scored one goal within their 90-minute matches in the knockout phase, while Morocco have found the net just once full stop.
The Atlas Lions look set to be without first-choice centre-halves Saiss and Nayef Aguerd, while left-back Noussair Mazraoui is also a doubt. Even so, we expect defences to come out on top here.
When teams are tired, it is easier to keep goals out than it is to score them. As such, under 2.5 at Evens with World Cup betting sites looks like an attractive proposition.
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