Kevin de Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois, arguably the only two world-class players in the squad, will be key to Belgium’s chances. Belgium and Canada will take to the field for the first time in the 2022 World Cup when they face off at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium on Wednesday.
The Maple Leafs secured their spot in the tournament in style, winning eight of their 14 games in the CONCACAF qualifiers, defeating heavyweights Mexico and USA.
While 22-year-old Bayern Munich full-back Alphonso Davies is the undoubted Canada star, Lille striker Jonathan David and Club Brugge forward Cyle Larin showed in the qualifiers. Larin was the top scorer with 11 goals, with David close behind in second with nine.
- 2018’s 3rd place team Belgium qualified for the World Cup as the group winners in qualifying, ahead of second place Wales, winning six of their eight games, while drawing the other two. This will be the 14th World Cup for the Red Devils, with 2018’s bronze medal being their best finish at the tournament. They are ranked the second best men’s international team in the World by FIFA Rankings heading into the tournament, behind only Brazil.
- Canada made it to their second ever World Cup by coming top of their CONCACAF group, though it was their superior goal difference to Mexico which saw them take top spot. In their only other appearance in a World Cup, back in 1986, they were unable to make it out of their group, losing all of their games.
- Canada do offer quality, but their inexperience will likely show against one of the top teams in the tournament, with Belgium the more likely team to get the win.