On Wednesday at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Canada will play Belgium in their first World Cup match in 36 years.
In the race for third place at the World Cup in Russia, Belgium defeated England 2-0. Despite only giving up one goal in their previous four games, they lost to Italy 1-2 in the quarterfinal of the 2020 European Championship. The Belgians easily won their World Cup qualifying group, defeating Wales and the Czech Republic, while finishing second in the most recent UEFA Nations League season (six points behind the Netherlands in Group 4).
Canada won the CONCACAF region's final round of qualification ahead of Mexico and the USA because they scored the most goals and gave up the fewest. Their performance on the road in qualifying, where they won just two of seven games, and in their most recent CONCACAF Nations League match, which they lost on the road in Honduras, is cause for concern.
Davies will be greatly missed, but this Canada team has goals and has developed excellent defensive foundations recently, which could occasionally frustrate Belgium. Belgium should have enough talent to defeat a young Canadian team.
Pick: Belgium win
Total: Over 2.5 Goals