We’ve reached the penultimate game of the 2022 World Cup, as the two losing teams from the semifinal meetings will go head-to-head with a bronze medal up for grabs. This, however, won’t deter us from delivering our expert analysis, as we’ll provide you with the best betting picks for Morocco and Croatia.
Read on for our World Cup third place picks, soccer analysis, and betting preview for Croatia vs. Morocco.
Saturday, December 17, 2022 – 10:00 AM EST at Khalifa International Stadium
Score Prediction: Croatia 0 – Morocco 1
Best Bet: Morocco Double Chance (Win or Draw) (-175) at Bet365
Croatia vs. Morocco Betting Analysis
- These two sides met during the Qatar 2022 Group Stage; the game ended 0-0
- In World Cup history, a third place match has never been decided on penalties
- Youssef En-Nesyri has netted x2 game-winning goals at the Qatar 2022 World Cup
- In 5 of Morocco’s previous 6 games, under 2.5 goals were scored
Morocco: Making History Despite the Outcome
Despite losing 2-0 to France in their semifinal meeting, Morocco can still hold their heads high as one of the top-performing teams in Qatar. What was initially criticized as “luck”, is no longer the story because the Atlas Lions remained unbeaten until they clashed with Les Bleus and have been an inspiration for African nations by becoming the first team from this continent ever to reach the semifinal stage of a World Cup.
Tasting their first defeat against France, however, by no means discredits their run. Following a first-half 1-0 deficit, Morocco entered the second-half determined and created multiple chances to score. Unfortunately, it wasn’t their night. France netted a second in the 79th minute to end the potential of an African team reaching a World Cup final.
Not a Matter of Luck
Remaining unbeaten in 5 of their last 6 World Cup fixtures is still an impressive feat. And when we dig deeper, the Atlas Lions have been undefeated in 42 of their previous 43 games in all competitions, further proving that “luck” has nothing to do with their recent accomplishments.
Defensively, Morocco had allowed just one goal when entering their semifinal clash with France. They earned 4 clean sheets from the last 6 teams they’ve played and have notably been involved in three consecutive games with a final score tally of under 2.5 goals.
Croatia: Couldn’t Replicate 2018
Following their 2018 efforts at the World Cup in Russia, the Croatian fan base had complete belief their side could reach a World Cup final in consecutive tournaments. However, they’ll enter Saturday’s game competing for a third place medal, having lost 3-0 to Argentina in their semifinal meeting.
As if it were written in the stars, seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi netted a 34th-minute penalty to give his team the lead and increase his chances to win both the Golden Boot and Golden Ball. Just five minutes later, Julian Alvarez found a second goal to make life extremely difficult for Zlatko Dalic and his Croatian squad in the second half.
Croatia failed to create chances in the second half, and as the 69th minute arrived, Alvarez added a second to his goal tally as we noticed heads beginning to dip for those sporting the chequered jersey.
Not Precisely a Winning Team
This semifinal loss was Croatia’s first loss in Qatar and the first losing game they’d suffered in 12 games. With that said, they haven’t won many games, either. Somehow, managing to reach the bracket stage of a World Cup without winning a game in two successive tournaments.
Morocco, Belgium, Japan, and Brazil held Croatia to a tie game in Qatar. And outside of their Group Stage meeting with Canada, goals have been difficult to obtain as they’ve failed to score in 3 of their previous 6 World Cup fixtures.
Croatia vs. Morocco: Third Place Betting Pick
The current World Cup odds display Croatia as the betting favorite. However, plus-money can be found on either side, but the added underdog value on Morocco gives us more wiggle room to attack alternative markets.
With odds set at -175, Morocco’s double chance (win or draw) is too tempting to pass up at the best sportsbooks. These teams could make history here and become the first third place game that’s decided on penalties. However, an Atlas Lions victory seems more probable as they possess a squad significantly more efficient in the final third.