Canada vs Morocco — Preview

Match Preview

Four years ahead of co-hosting the 2026 World Cup, Canada have outperformed expectations in Qatar. Ranked 41st in the world, they were unfortunate not to get something from their opener against Belgium, when the Expected Goals stat favoured them by 2.88 to 0.99, and star man Alphonso Davies saw his penalty saved. They took the lead against Croatia on Matchday 2, with Davies the appropriate scorer of their first-ever World Cup goal. For all the talk of Canada’s athleticism, there is a lot more to Les Rouges’ game than that. They had 46% of the possession against Belgium and enjoyed 52% of the ball when they slipped to a 4-1 defeat against Croatia. Opponents Morocco, 22nd in the FIFA Rankings, held Croatia to a 0-0 draw, before producing an even better performance in a 2-0 win over Belgium, ranked second in the world by FIFA. They have picked up four points despite only having 35% and 33% possession in their first two matches. Their success has been built on defensive solidity. They are yet to concede a goal in six matches under manager Walid Regragui, who sets the Atlas Lions up in a 4-3-3 formation.

Bayern Munich left-back Davies plays a more advanced role for his national team and occupied the left-sided midfield position against Croatia after English-born coach John Herdman swapped a back three for a 4-4-2 formation. Unbeaten in three meetings with Canada, Morocco were convincing 4-0 winners when these teams met in a 2016 friendly. The North Africans will reach the last 16 for the second time with a win, or a draw, and they will qualify if they lose and Croatia beats Belgium. For Canada, it’s about playing for pride, something they have exhibited plenty of, so far.

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