Group game repeat will see goals and Morocco win

Croatia and Morocco will meet for the second time at the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Saturday at the Khalifa International Stadium to contest the third place play-off. In their group encounter, the sides drew 0-0 in a rather forgettable game, and few would've foreseen at that point that the two nations would both come so close to reaching the final, only to fall at the last hurdle. The Atlas Lions certainly scared France a lot more than their opponents did against Argentina however, and that could carry them to a first bronze medal for an African men's team at the tournament. Read our preview here:

A Majer problem

With (theoretically) less at stake, the shackles ought to come off Zlatko Dalić's side, who in truth have only looked convincing from an attacking point of view in one match (against Canada). Thoughts will inevitably turn to the next generation of players coming through the Vatreni ranks. Most urgent of all, like many of their contemporaries as the competition has shown in brutal fashion, is a reliable, top class striker to finish off the sometimes wonderful interplay of the midfield, though with Luka Modrić now 37, it is likely that even the engine room will have a completely different complexion once the qualifiers for Euro 2024 come around. More immediately, Lovro Majer could be handed his first start in Qatar on the right of the forward line, and will look to demonstrate there is life after their own version of the golden generation at just 24.

Ounahi a feeling

Having run Les Bleus ragged in midfield and defence at times just days ago, Walid Regragui's men ultimately lost out in key moments on the break and to slices of fortune, rather than a lack of ability or tactical acumen. Almost everyone in their ranks has had their individual reputations greatly enhanced throughout the last four weeks, with those of Sofyan Amrabat and Azzedine Ounahi possibly most of all. The latter is just 22 and a regular for Ligue 1 strugglers Angers SCO, who often have to balance the books by selling their brightest talents. Both players could move in January, with the former (currently with Fiorentina) a likely target for Antonio Conte's Tottenham Hotspur.

Betting tip

Casumo have odds of 2.10 for Morocco to gain the bronze medal and be the new benchmark for other African nations to surpass in 2026 when the three major North American countries co-host the next showpiece, which will expand to 48 teams.

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