Croatia vs Canada Prediction

27th November 2022
19:00 Qatar Time/16:00 GMT
Khalifa International Stadium, Doha

World Cup Tournament Form:







World Cup Head-to-Head Record



Croatia vs Canada Prediction Match Overview


Croatia vs Canada sees both teams come in off the back of disappointing results but for wildly different reasons. While Canada can consider themselves to be hugely unfortunate to suffer a 1-0 reverse at the hands of a poor Belgian team, Croatia were largely toothless against a defensively disciplined Morocco side and failed to make a breakthrough late on as the Moroccans tired as expected. Canada need a result here to keep their World Cup dream alive whereas the Croatians will feel they also need a result to prevent them from having to defeat pre-tournament group favourites Belgium.

Injuries and Suspensions

Might not play: 

Will not play:

Possible Lineups

Croatia vs Canada Prediction Analysis

Croatian Possession Versus the Canadian Press

The ability of the Croatians to retain possession in the middle of the park will go a long way to determining who will emerge victorious from Croatia vs Canada. The old adage of ‘if you have the ball, the opposition can’t hurt you’ would seem to be particularly relevant here, and Croatia will be hoping to do a much better job than Belgium did in their group opener. Croatia will feel that if they can dominate the ball in a calm, controlled manner while simultaneously being careful not to commit too many bodies forward then they can win a war of attrition in the middle of the park and by passing the Canadians off the park they will hope to create better opportunities than they managed in the first game.

Canada for their part will look to impose their brand of high-intensity pressing and attacking ambition from the first whistle and will hope that their efforts yield a better outcome this time around. While they perhaps don’t possess a high-level midfield destroyer like Morocco’s Sofyan Amrabat, their coordinated press will be relentless and Croatia be forced to move the ball quickly and efficiently.

Midfield Battle

Atiba Hutchinson was impressive against the Belgians, with his characteristically intelligent game which has seen the Besiktas man play at a high level well into his late 30s on prominent display, but we feel that his midfield partner Stephen Eustaqiuo was even better, contributing to both defence and attack with a high-quality display that saw him dominate the middle of the park for the Canadians. As stated earlier, Canada don’t normally protect their back line with a destroyer, instead, they’re proactive in forcing the opposition into early turnovers so we expect Eustaquio to provide an energetic presence in the middle of the park with Hutchinson concentrated on blocking passing lanes and making the right decisions while in possession.

Croatia will be hoping that their huge quality in central midfield positions will combine more effectively in Croatia vs Canada than they did against Morocco, who benefited from a huge performance from Amrabat to limit the Croatians to mostly empty possessions. When they’re collectively on their game, it’s hard to disrupt the endless flow of passes and Croatia often dominate central midfield. If the Croatians can do this and starve the Canadians of possession, they still won’t be safe from the threat of rapid counters so we can see Croatia opting for a more measured build-up when it comes to constructing attacking moves, while looking to counter-press and take advantage of the likelihood of the Canadian players being out of position if and when their attacking moves break down. They’ll be mindful of the fact that, while Canada were highly impressive in their opening game against Belgium, they were also profligate and rather open themselves at times, and Croatia must be poised to take advantage.

Both Teams Need More from Their Front Men

While the Canadians created plenty of opportunities, it has to be said that they will be disappointed with the number of chances wasted. While they may argue that ordinarily they’d have scored their penalty and that would have put a different complexion on the game, zero goals against a Belgian team with an ageing defence that was there for the taking will be vexing. For the Croatians, they’ll also be disappointed with the performances of both their front 3 minus perhaps Ivan Perisic, but also the failure of their replacements off the bench to have any real impact. It could be the case though that Croatia will have more space to work with in this encounter with their wide men in particular afforded more room to operate.

Croatia Key Players

Luka Modric

If the Canadians can’t shut Luka Modric down as the Moroccans mostly managed to do, then Modric in particular can control the midfield, which would see the Canadians limited to a mostly counter-attacking approach. As we expect the Croatians will be wary of Canada’s ability to carry the ball and transition at breakneck speed, retaining the ball in midfield and keeping the Canadians on the back foot is the key to Croatia’s chances in this game. Modric’s expansive range of passing also comes into play here, as he will be looking to take advantage of positional lapses that Canada’s attacking game will inevitably produce.

Ivan Perisic

If the Croatians can start to win the midfield battle and limit Canada’s attacking ambitions, then Ivan Perisic will play a vital role in ensuring that Croatia have a reliable outlet through whom they spread the play and look to whip in crosses to catch the Canadian back line out. Perisic also possesses a high work rate to complement his technical ability and often initiates the Croatian press. Croatia must attempt to keep the Canadians on the back foot – Belgium fared poorly in this aspect of the game, and the Canadians were encouraged to keep coming by a complete lack of engagement from their forward players on the defensive end.

Canada Key Players

Alphonso Davies

Playing in a more advanced role for country versus club, Davies was an injury doubt before their group opener but proved to be approaching full fitness and was basically a nightmare to both mark and stifle for the Belgians. Seemingly popping up all over the pitch, and, as we predicted, often as an attacking midfielder, the Croatians must not switch off as surely this time, if presented with the same opportunities Davies will likely be finding the net.

Stephen Eustaqiuo

Given how Eustaquiao was so impressive against a Belgium midfield with the talents of Tielemans and Witsel, we see no reason why the Porto man can’t maintain his impressive start to both the World Cup and his domestic and European season. To get a result against Croatia, it’s always important to disrupt their rhythm in midfield and to prevent them from monopolising possession, so Eustaquio will need to be at his disruptive best here and will also need to keep driving forward as per their group opener to ensure that the Croatians have their hands full defensively.

Croatia vs Canada Prediction


In a classic encounter of possession versus press, we do feel that Croatia will be somewhat more successful than the Belgians were in controlling the midfield, but we’re also of the opinion that Canada can replicate their impressive performance. Our verdict is that this time Canada will be rewarded for their performance, but will still require a result in their final group game against Morocco to progress to the round of 16.

Beat the Bookmaker Verdict: