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Friday's World Cup warm-ups preview: Belgium face Pharaohs test

The World Cup is almost upon us but there's still time for some countries to squeeze in a final warm-up game with Belgium, Serbia and Cameroon all in action on Friday.

WhatBelgium v Egypt
WhereJaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium, Kuwait
When15:00, Friday 18th November 2022
How to watchN/A
OddsBelgium 1/3, Draw 7/2, Egypt 6/1

Belgium expected to see off Salah and co

Belgium are among the big European teams fancied to go deep in Qatar and Roberto Martinez's side are 16/1 to win the World Cup for the first time in their history. 

A squad containing Manchester City superstar Kevin De Bruyne, Real Madrid playmaker Eden Hazard and experienced goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois - to name just three of their main men - will be expected to comfortably make it out of the group and then potentially challenge for overall glory. 

The Red Devils are in Group F with Canada, Morocco and the dangerous Croatia and approach the tournament in solid enough overall form, losing just two of their last 10 games - both to the Netherlands. 

Belgium have won five of those matches, drawing the other three, but are still sweating on the fitness of star striker Romelu Lukaku, who is not expected to be fit for at least the first two group games, although Belgium officials have, in the past few days, insisted the Inter man's condition is improving as he recovers from a troublesome muscle problem. 

Belgium are 3/1 to reach the World Cup semi-finals, while De Bruyne is 50/1 to be crowned top goalscorer in Qatar.

Pharaohs failed to qualify for Qatar 

They face an Egypt side who failed to make it to Qatar after the Pharaohs lost out in the third round of African qualifying to Senegal earlier this year. 

Egypt, who were AFCON runners-up earlier this year when also losing to Senegal in the final, will provide a decent test for Belgium with Liverpool star Mohamed Salah, Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny and Trabzonspor's former Aston Villa midfielder Trezeguet all part of their squad. 

As expected, Belgium are 1/3 favourites to win the friendly, a draw at full-time in Kuwait is 7/2, and an Egypt success to put a spanner in Martinez's World Cup plans is 6/1

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WhatCameroon v Panama
WhereMohammed Bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
When10:00, Friday 18th November 2022
How to watchN/A
OddsCameroon 5/6, Draw 21/10, Panama 3/1

Cameroon should brush Panama aside

Cameroon are also preparing for their campaign in Qatar and will take on Panama in Abu Dhabi on Friday morning. 

The African nation, who did not qualify for the tournament in Russia four years ago, will be hoping to do better than a group-stage exit which was the outcome for them in their last two appearances on the global stage, in both South Africa in 2010 and Brazil in 2014. 

Former Liverpool player Rigobert Song is the current Cameroon boss and his side approach the tournament without a victory in any of their last three matches. This is their second warm-up game after a somewhat underwhelming 1-1 draw with Jamaica last week. 

The Indomitable Lions have a squad containing Brentford forward Bryan Mbeumo, Bayern Munich striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, while Napoli midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa is another of their well-known players, alongside Swansea City's Olivier Ntcham. 

Cameroon, who are in a tough group alongside outright 7/2 favourites Brazil, with Switzerland and Serbia also included, are 7/2 to qualify for the knockout stage but they have failed to win any of their last three games, going down to nil against Uzbekistan and South Korea before the draw with Jamaica. 

They will be confident of seeing off a Panama side, though, who did qualify for the last World Cup but failed to secure a place in Qatar. Panama have won just one of their last six matches and drew 2-2 with Venezuela last week. 

Serbia gear up for Brazil clash with Bahrain game 

The remaining friendly clash on Friday sees another Group G contender in Serbia go up against Bahrain. Serbia are rated as 11/10 to qualify out of the group and they will be aiming for a confidence-boosting victory in Muharraq ahead of their opening game in the competition against Brazil on 24th November. 

 Serbia have won four of their last five games and are big favourites at 9/20 to win on Friday, the hosts are 6/1 and a draw is available at 14/5

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