2022 FIFA World Cup: Key vs Canada vs Belgium

2022 FIFA World Cup: Key vs Canada vs Belgium

DOHA, Qatar – Heartache, sadness and depression all lead the 36-year-old to Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium, where Canada’s men’s national team will play its first World Cup game in nearly four decades.

Belgium await when Canada begin their Group F match on Wednesday, and while the Red Devils are favourites, Les Rouges Can spring surprises if all goes according to plan.

“It’s going to be a real good test for the staff and the players,” Canada coach John Herdman said in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday.

“That’s what we’re going to learn from, but more importantly, that’s what we’re really going for, and I think that’s the opportunity we have here. Coming into a game like this. , we don’t have a huge amount to lose, just a real chance to make it to our cup final.

It’s safe to say Canada needs to be nearly flawless for this to be true.

Here’s what you need to know ahead of Canada’s World Cup opener against Belgium.

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Projected lineup

Here’s how Canada could line up on Wednesday.

Herdman confirmed that Davis should be in contention to begin with, to alleviate any concerns. After suffering a minor muscle injury during pre-World Cup preparations for Stefan Eustace.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt we’re going to start him,” Herdman said. “[Davies] Now is appropriate. He hits his markers, he’s ready to go.

In possession, Atiba Hutchinson had to drop into the back three at times to allow Alastair Johnston to get forward as a right wing-back. Eustaquio will be slotted into the box and Junior Howlett should play in a free role behind Jonathan David, with Davies moving from left to center throughout the game.

The formation will change to a 4-4-2 when Belgium have possession, but it could also become a 5-3-2 depending on how the ball progresses into Canada’s defensive third. Canada used both formats in a 2-1 win over Japan last Thursday.

As for Belgium, that could be how they stack up against Canada.

Star striker Romelu Lukaku has been ruled out of the opener, so Michy Batshuayi will start up front.

The only problems for coach Roberto Martinez surround his defenders. Jan Vertonghen could make way for Arthur Thiet, while Timothy Kosten will compete with Thomas Meunier at right wing-back.

However, expect plenty of activity on the flanks for Belgium, who love to use their attack-minded wing-backs in Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard.

Canada’s X-Factor: Transfers

With or without Jan Vertonghen starting on the left side of Belgium’s defence, there will be transition opportunities for Canada.

Belgium may not concede a high number of counter-attacks, but the efficiency with which opponents create shots should be a concern for Martinez.

Counter-attack statistics for the last 12 months via Wescott.

Egypt beat Belgium 2-1 in a friendly last week, and despite only producing six shots, the Pharaohs were able to recover from their defensive third before high pressure or counter-attacks. Ways to destroy in transit.

“This is the highest level of soccer,” Canadian midfielder Jonathan Osorio said. “The game is very, very fast, so the transitions are fast. The way the ball moves is fast, everything is faster than we think.

Getting the ball back in the Belgian half looks difficult, but it is doable. Like Egypt, the Netherlands were favored to press against Belgium in the Nations League on 26 September. A common 5-2-3 or 5-3-2 formation was formed to ensure wide coverage against the Belgian wing-backs. .

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Canada put on a performance against Japan that saw David O’Howellt impress against the Japanese defenders.

The only caveat is that Canada needs to produce high-quality shots from these conditions to cause Belgium problems.

Canada’s speed should have it in possession of Belgium’s superior defensive line. If Egypt can capitalize, so can Canadians.

“They play in transition and they have a lot of speed so we have to be ready for that,” said Vertonghen, the Canadian powerhouse. “That’s why our game against Egypt was a good wake-up call. We can’t underestimate them.”

“They seem like a team that is very clear in their concepts,” Martinez said. “A very dynamic, competitive team that knows their strengths, a team that likes to open up their legs and use big spaces, so we have a lot of respect for them.”

The fact that Canada was effective against a fast team like Japan in both offensive and defensive transition moments proves that it is capable of replicating this strategy.

“Of course it takes confidence,” Hutchinson said. “We are in a good position where we know we can play with any team in the world.”

“I think we showed against a top 20 team that we can play at that intensity and speed,” Osorio said. “It’s a big confidence boost for us and our midfield that we showed we can keep that intensity.”

Belgium’s X-Factor: Kevin De Bruyne (DUH)

There is no stopping Kevin De Bruyne. You can only hope to limit the damage.

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Even man-marking isn’t a guaranteed Bruin strategy. The player will wait for his marker to face the ball and move away from him, enabling De Bruyne to make runs on the player’s blind side and into the box.

With Lukaku out injured and Eden Hazard part-time with Real Madrid, De Bruyne will be in charge of Belgium’s attack.

De Bruyne likes to move into the right half and dictate play from that area, so the job of marking him will likely be Sam Adekogbe’s job.

Adekogbe, a complete two-way full-back in every sense of the term, will relish the challenge. The 27-year-old has gone from a squad player to a key starter in the space of a year and could be one of many successful contenders for Canada at this World Cup.

A number of observers will be especially concerned if Adekogbe caps the Bruins’ impact on the game.

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