clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

World Cup Preview: Belgium vs Morocco | Red Devils look to confirm berth in next round

Roberto Martinez will be looking for a much more convincing performance this time

Belgium’s midfielder #18 Amadou Onana (C) takes part in a training session at the Salwa Training Site in Salwa Beach, southwest of Doha
Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images

Everton midfielder Amadou Onana was a game-changing substitute for Belgium in their first match - a tough victory against a hard-charging Canadian outfit - and will likely be called on once more at some point in Belgium’s second match in Group F. For the Red Devils, it is quite easy: win against Morocco - who drew with Croatia in their first match - and you’re on to the next round of the 2022 World Cup; for everyone else in the group, such as Canada, Croatia, and the aforementioned Morocco, things remain a bit more complicated.

The outcome of Canada and Croatia will be massive as well, for while only Canada can technically be eliminated by any result on Sunday, possibilities may be improved depending upon the final outcomes. Belgium sets themselves through to the next round with a win, but a draw would only allow for Croatia to possible end up with the top spot on the table with a victory against Canada and Belgium in the final match of the group. Croatia needs to beat Canada, but so long as they do not lose, they will have the chance to make it through with a final victory against the Red Devils too.

Canada, meanwhile, needs to beat Croatia and, by doing so, would leave themselves with the apparently simple task of beating Morocco on the final day to ensure they can move on in this World Cup. Belgium, in other words, has the easiest route available, and will hope that players like Amadou Onana will help them reach that next plateau.

Against Morocco, Belgium will have to contend with a solid defense that can communicate and did a proper job against Croatia - even with their bevy of weapons and quality. That they should easily win goes without saying, but the World Cup will always throw curving balls at spectators and competitors alike.

Whether Everton’s Onana starts or subs in for former-Blues boss Roberto Martinez, the quality he has in the buildup of that team, as well as upon the defensive end, will remain important for this team and his fellow Belgians. As he grows more and more comfortable playing against the top competition of the world, Frank Lampard will have to allow for the player to spread his wings in the middle of the pitch more - especially when help exists in that area in the form of Alex Iwobi and Idrissa Gana Gueye.