Belgium’s time at the World Cup in Qatar could come to an early end on Thursday when they take on Group F leaders Croatia at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan.

Croatia thumped Canada 4-1 last time out to take them top of the pool on four points, while Belgium suffered a 2-0 defeat to Morocco and another loss would see them knocked out of the competition at this stage for the first time since 1998.

A share of the spoils on Thursday could be enough for the Red Devils to progress, but they would need already-eliminated Canada to do them a favour against Morocco, who are three strikes better off than Belgium in goal difference.

Croatia vs Belgium Betting Tips

  • Croatia to win @ 17/10
  • #PickYourPunt – Andrej Kramaric to score anytime and Jan Vertonghen to be carded @ 9/1

Team news

Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic has no injury issues or suspensions to contend with for this encounter and is unlikely to make any alterations from the side that beat Canada last time out.

Luka Modric and Dejan Lovren are both on yellow cards and would miss the last-16 contest if Vatreni progress from the group, but the duo are still expected to start Thursday’s contest as they are both integral first-team players.

Belgium chief Roberto Martinez will be forced into one change after Amadou Onana picked up his second yellow of the tournament, with his place in midfield likely to be taken by Youri Tielemans.

Star striker Romelu Lukaku came on as a substitute in the defeat to Morocco and he could be given a starting chance after recovering from hamstring and thigh injuries. If he is deemed not fit enough to start, Michy Batshuayi is expected to retain his place in the XI.

Latest Croatia vs Belgium Betfred Odds

Croatia to win @ 17/10

Although they have three points from two games, Belgium have been very disappointing in Qatar and they can count themselves lucky to have beaten Canada 1-0 in their opener having been second-best for much of the contest.

The Red Devils have looked lost for ideas in the final third while they have been exposed at the back far too easily, something which was evident in the 2-0 loss to the Atlas Lions last time out.

Croatia showed their quality in the 4-1 victory over the Maple Leafs and that extended their unbeaten record to eight matches, while they have only lost one of their 18 matches since going out of the European Championships to Spain.

Vatreni look much sharper than Belgium and this is a great chance for Dalic’s troops to pick up the win that would likely secure top spot and send their opponents home early.

#PickYourPunt – Andrej Kramaric to score anytime and Jan Vertonghen to be carded @ 9/1

One player that burst into life in Croatia’s win over Canada was Andrej Kramaric, who netted twice to get his country’s bid for a last-16 spot back on track and also thrust himself into the Golden Boot picture.

The Hoffenheim striker has scored three goals in his last three international outings and he is now joint-sixth in his country’s all-time scoring record, just one behind Luka Modric in fifth.

Along with Kramaric to score anytime on Thursday, there is a good possibility Belgium defender Jan Vertonghen could find his way into the book. The 35-year-old has been easy to get at during this tournament and his comments to team-mate Kevin De Bruyne won’t have helped relations in the squad.

With the Red Devils needing to press in this game, there could be gaps to expose at the back for Croatia and this only spells bad news for Vertonghen, who could be forced into making a rash challenge.

World Cup Betting Odds

*All prices correct at the time of writing.

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