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3rd Place Play-Off Predictions > Dec 17th


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2022 FIFA WORLD CUP 3RD PLACE PLAY-OFF

CROATIA vs MOROCCO 

Odds: (1) 2.35  (x) 3.40  (2) 3.00

Facts about Croatia
Croatia is the 2018 finalist, having lost to France then. They were hoping to reach the 2022 finals to try to rectify their 2018 mistakes, but unfortunately, they were hammered seriously by Argentina in the semi-finals. Luka Modric is playing his last world cup game and was hoping to win the cup, but unfortunately, he will have to settle for this third-place play-off.
2018 Finals: France 4-2 Croatia (Croatia lost to France)
Facts about Morocco
They made history by being the first African team to reach the semi-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Unfortunately, their dreams of reaching the finals and even winning the cup were haltered by the defending champions France.  
Facts about FIFA World Cup 3rd Place Play-Off
The winner of the third-place play-off receives the bronze medal and $27  million in prize money. The loser gets $2 million less (about $25) with no medals.
European Teams have won the last 5 third-place play-off games, all of which were played without penalties.
2022:  Croatia vs Morocco?
2018: Belgium 2-0 England
2014: Netherlands 3-0 Brazil
2010: Germany 3-2 Uruguay
2006: Germany 3-1 Portugal
2002: Turkey 3-2 South Korea
FIFA World Cup (H2H)  Croatia vs Morocco 
They have met once in the FIFA World Cup group stages with a draw of under 2.5.
2022: Croatia 0-0 Morocco
PREDICTION
Croatia 2-0 Morocco
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Croatia vs Morocco

Asian Handicap opened on Croatia at -0.25, clearly overpriced to me since Croatia ranks 12th against Morocco ranks 22nd in FIFA World ranking given the qualities of Croatia against a massive underdog.

Morocco's odds on Asian Handicap (+0.25) clearly dropping since their cool display against France. And back in the Group stage, Morocco already managed to draw 0-0 against Croatia and prevented a goal. This game clearly going to be for Morocco in my opinion.

For higher returns, take a bet on Morocco to Qualify (or finish 3rd place). This market is a lot better than full-time 90 mins as it is included extra time and penalties!

Morocco - AH (+0.5) or X2

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Croatia vs Morocco

Croatia started positively in their defeat to Argentina but was eventually undone, and as soon as they conceded the first goal, they never really looked like they would get back into the game. Actually, Vatreni have won just one game in 90 minutes in the tournament to reach the semi-finals. These two sides opened their campaigns in the group stage with a clash, which ended in a goalless draw, and was one of the most boring games in the world Cup. Croatia is disappointed after a loss against Argentina, and they need to get back on track mentally.

Morocco has been the surprise package of the 2022 World Cup, becoming the first-ever African country to make it through to the semi-finals and doing an entire continent proud. Similarly to Croatia, the North Africans seemed to lack a real goal threat in the final third, but their defense was really impressive from day one and even so against France, who had to work hard for their 2-goals in the semi-final. Walid Regragui needs to raise his players for one last game at what has been an incredible tournament for Morocco. There will be changes to the starting XI – and there will be plenty of substitutes throughout after a tiring competition. Captain Romain Saïss is likely to miss out because of injury, but Walid Cheddira will be available again after suspension.

Full-Time Winner Odds & Prediction                                                                            

It is going to be another tight match, and it can easily go either way. We wouldn't be surprised if it goes to extra time and possibly the penalty shootout. Although Croatia has more experience in these games, Morocco is capable of holding their opponents leveled for at least 90 minutes.

Goals Market Prediction

We shouldn't expect an efficient match, especially after their bore draw and solid defenses throughout the competition. Therefore, the crowd won't see more than two goals in total.

Draw @ 3.50

Under 2.5 FT @ 1.95

Correct score 1:1 @ 7.00

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Croatia vs Morocco

The penultimate game of the 2022 World Cup is here as Croatia play Morocco in the 3rd Place Play-Off in a 3pm GMT kick-off on Saturday evening from the Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan. These two sides have exceeded their pre-tournament expectations but there is that feeling, as @george44 rightly points out, that this game means a little bit more to the African side than their European opposition.

Croatia are a team that have long done well on the international stage ever since their first appearance at a major tournament back in 1996. Zlatko Dalic's team weren't fancied as contenders to win the tournament before it all started so they have done incredibly well to reach this stage but there is still a feeling that after reaching the final in 2018 that this is a step backwards. A number of their squad are coming to the end of their careers such as Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida, Ivan Perisic, and, of course, Luka Modric. It is perhaps a testament to Modric's quality that at 37 years old he's still running the show in the middle of the park and has been instrumental in the nation's success over the last decade. This is not a Croatia side that is littered with world class stars like it was back in their 1998 World Cup journey when the likes of Davor Suker, Robert Prosinecki, and Zvonimir Boban were involved but their progress can be attributed to the team cohesion and attitude. The team have faced more shots than any other nation at this tournament which sums up exactly how they've approached each game with a reliance on their defensive stability and an emphasis on the counter attack.

Morocco have been the fairytale story of this World Cup. Head coach Walid Regragui has led his team to become the first African and Arabic nation to reach the semi-finals of a World Cup. The team have won fans all over the globe due to their work ethic and never-say-die mentality. It was a massive disappointment to narrowly fall short against France in their last game but they will be coming into this match with an unrelenting desire to win this game and create even more history. Interestingly, Morocco conceded more goals in their 2-0 loss to France than they did in all of their previous World Cup games this year before that match. There is a chance that they could become just the 8th team in World Cup history to keep five clean sheets at a World Cup tournament. Four of the previous seven teams to have accomplished that won the tournament when they achieved that feat. Sevilla forward Youssef En-Nesyri has already bagged two match-winning goals in this tournament so far. He looks a decent price to be the match winner again here in a game that could well see goals with both teams playing with nothing to lose.

It's funny that these two teams will end their 2022 World Cup tournament in the same way they started it by playing each other. I am anticipating a different outcome to the nervy 0-0 draw we witnessed back in November. There have been 19 3rd Place Play-Off matches played in the history of the World Cup and none of them have gone all the way to penalties. Only one of them went into extra-time and that was France versus Belgium back in 1986. It's now been 10 World Cups in a row where the 3rd place side has come from the European continent. My head says Croatia will get the job done here but, as a hopeless football romantic, I'm going to back Morocco to win here. I do feel they will have more motivation and I think their team just has more energy. Morocco to win and maybe both teams to score.

Morocco to Win @ 21/10 with Betfred

BTTS @ 7/10 with Bet365

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Gut feel says Croatia will win but no result would surprise me. I get the rationale for the game meaning a bit more to Morocco but Croatia will still want to give a decent account of themselves in Modric's curtain call.

A couple of scorer bets for interest; Livaja at 5.4 and bought Perisic goal rush plus at 3 (equates to 8.33 anytime with a bonus if he scores more than once).

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