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FIFA World Cup 2022: Group F SWOT Analysis

The four teams in Group F are Belgium, Canada, Croatia, and Morocco. On paper, Belgium are clear-cut favourites to bag the group.

File photo of Belgium players; Credit: Twitter/@BelRedDevils
By K S Vignesh Bharadwaj | Nov 16, 2022 | 5 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

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The Qatar 2022 World Cup kicks off on November 20 at the Al Bayt Stadium, with the hosts facing Ecuador in Group A. The tournament was scheduled to begin the following day with Senegal’s match against the Netherlands at Al Thumama Stadium, but Qatar’s game was moved up to allow them to open their home tournament.

Read More: FIFA World Cup 2022: Group E SWOT Analysis

The four teams in Group F are Belgium, Canada, Croatia, and Morocco. Belgium are expected to win the group due to their overall quality and skillset. Croatia, following an impressive run in the FIFA World Cup in 2018, will look to finish second and continue their dream run in the FIFA World Cup for the second time. Canada and Morocco pose a threat, but the group appears to be too hot to handle at the moment. Here’s a breakdown of each team’s strengths, weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

Belgium 

Strengths – Will Belgium make it all the way? Do they have the quality? If yes, can they handle the pressure? Belgium have never been able to solve the final puzzle in a major tournament, but their sizzling quality on the pitch is their strength. With players like De Bruyne, Lukaku, Tielemans, Hazard, and one of the best goalkeepers in, Thibaut Courtois, this Belgium team could be a title contender.

Weaknesses – Belgium are expected to have a deeper run in the tournament with a lot of quality on the field, but a few match fitness concerns could hamper the team. Lukaku has been suffering from a tendon injury and has only appeared in four league games, while Hazard, despite showing glimpses of brilliance, has only started one game in La Liga.

Opportunities – There has been so much discussion about Belgium coming up short in the 2018 World Cup, and with the team’s consistency in qualifying for the knockout stages, Belgium has the opportunity to win the World Cup for the first time in Qatar.

Threats – Belgium’s form entering the tournament has been sloppy and average, and they don’t have any momentum for a deeper run, but with talent and proper skill set all over the field, they could surprise a few around the world.

Canada

Strengths – Canada are a solid side with a good mix of youth and experience, and they typically hold back and attack the counter. The supply to the attack will be spearheaded from the flank. Canada has a good finisher, and his ability with the ball suits the Canadian team. The team appears to be well-balanced and confident heading to Qatar.

Weaknesses – Canada is competing in the World Cup for the first time in more than three decades, and they are unaccustomed to the pressure and are unsure how to handle the World Cup experience. The Canadian defense has been shaky at times, and their defense system lacks quality squad depth, so the midfield and offensive setup will need to step up.

Opportunities – The Reds are in the 32-team World Cup rooster for the first time in 36 years and have nothing to lose, which could be a great opportunity to go deep in the tournament with no major expectations, while Canada will be hoping to qualify to the Round of 16 with stars like Buchanan and Davies.

Threats – The Canadians struggle with defense due to a lack of attributes in their back line, and will need players like Buchanan and Davies to spend more time attempting to defend than trying to attack, which could pose a significant threat to their goal-scoring abilities.

Croatia 

Strengths – Croatia’s immense experience in midfield with star-studded players is their main strength, and the side still have the majority of the players who played in the 2018 World Cup, where Croatia had a fairytale run which is an added advantage. The chemistry of the team remains strong, and with a strong squad depth, Croatia can be optimistic about their chances in the World Cup in Qatar.

Weaknesses – Croatia would be licking their lips with the quality of players they have in their midfield, but their main point of weakness is the balance of the side, as they have stacked their midfield but lack great options in defense as well as an out and out goal scorer who could put his name on the scoresheet time and time again.

Opportunities – Croatia had a fairytale run in the last World Cup in Russia and will be looking to replicate the same in Qatar. The Croatians will also be on the verge of making history by becoming the first runner-up to reach the next tournament’s summit clash in 20 years, following Brazil in 2002

Threats – Expectations heading into Qatar may be the biggest threat Croatia faces after their fairytale run in the previous World Cup, and the renaissance of the playing style with the aging defensive system may end up backfiring.

Morocco 

Strengths – Morocco’s greatest strength for Qatar 2022 is the quality of their options, which include Hakimi, Bounou, and Ziyech. This squad is loaded with Champions League veterans, many of whom were on the team that lost to Spain by a whisker four years ago.

Weaknesses – Morocco’s style could be overhauled for the World Cup, with new head coach Walid Regragui only appointed as the successor for Vahid Halilhodzic in Oct., and the drastic shift in structure could hinder the outcomes, as a success story requires a clear foundation and chemistry. But it’s a decision with two possible outcomes, and things could go either way.

 Opportunities – Morocco will rely on players such as Hakimi, Bounou, and Ziyech to get them to the next round. Morocco’s best World Cup campaign came in 1986 when they reached the Round of 16 in Mexico. They will want to repeat their performance in Qatar by playing impressive football and accumulating points in the Group stage.

Threats – If Morocco strikes the right strategy and identifies a genuine attacking option in their available arsenal, they can realistically expect to qualify for the knockout stages for the first time in the last 36 years, but with a Group that includes Belgium, Croatia, and Canada, things may not be as rosy as they seem.



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