Belgium v Canada: World Cup Betting Preview
By Dan King under the supervision of Lucas Mondelo
Belgium and this golden generation of players are not being talked up as much as in recent tournaments, but it could suit them in preparation for Qatar 20222.
This is a group they are expected to qualify from with some comfort, but Roberto Martinez is taking nothing for granted and sends out his team here set on a victory.
One of their key men Lukaku is far from being at the top of this game and may struggle to have a big impact in the group-stage matches.
Lukaku has not played a competitive game since the end of October, only making five appearances for Inter this season. The striker is likely to miss the opening two World Cup games because of a thigh injury.
Meunier is another significant concern for Belgium. He has been missing for his club side Borussia Dortmund since mid-October with a fractured cheekbone. The player should be available however as he came on in Friday’s friendly defeat against Egypt. Early reports suggest he may begin against Canada.
It has been a long time in waiting for Canada to reach this stage. This is their first World Cup since 1986 and they had not even reached the final qualification group since trying for France in 1998.
The mood is one of huge excitement and the team spirit is strong. This exciting bunch of talent will now have two World Cups in a row, be it as they co-host the 2026 tournament.
Looking at the team news for Canada’s hugely testing opening game, there will be concerns. The big worry is over whether the influential Alphonso Davies starts. The speedy and powerful attacking left-back could be used more as a winger to be able to impact matches as much as possible going forward. He is however carrying a hamstring injury which has meant he hasn’t played since early November.
Stephen Eustaquio and Milan Borjan are also not at 100% and so likely substitutes. Both men are carrying knocks in the lead-up to this contest but have taken part in full training this week so considered ready and available.
Betting Analysis: Group F Matchday 1
Belgium vs Canada
On the 1×2 betting market, the European team is a strong favourite with Belgium priced @ 1.52 to get the points. This potential outcome has shortened in the market since opening. Canada will hope to replicate what Saudi Arabia did to Argentina and shock the footballing world by beating Belgium. They are drifting however, now priced @ 6.75. A more realistic draw is @ 4.30.
Let us look at the Asian handicap market where Belgium gives up a -1 goal start @ 1.850. Canada +1 is odds against @ 2.020. The outsiders will have a slight edge based on team news, but that is already built into the price.
Looking at the under/over market finally. Belgium may need to score at least 2 goals to get the over 2.75 @1.950 home as a winning bet. Canada scoring first would be great for backers of overs. Under 2.75 is @ 1.870.