The World Cup is in full swing and attention turns to Groups E and F on Wednesday, with the Racing Post’s Liam Flin giving us his thoughts on Spain v Costa Rica and Belgium v Canada.
What: Spain v Costa Rica, World Cup Group E
Where: Al Thumama Stadium, Al Thumama
When: 16.00pm, Wednesday 23rd November 2022
How to watch: ITV1
A midfield featuring young starlets Pedri and Gavi shows immense promise and the team also excelled at the most recent edition of the Nations League, qualifying for the finals after topping Group A2 ahead of Portugal, and Czech Republic.
One criticism of the team is the lack of a world class out-and-out striker, with Alvaro Morata still unable to shake off the doubters in some quarters.
Costa Rica became the final team to qualify for the World Cup earlier this year, beating New Zealand in the inter-confederation playoffs, and their squad has an ageing feel to it with Keylor Navas, Bryan Ruiz and Joel Campbell still their most notable talents.
But with age comes experience and there is plenty of that in their rearguard, who can limit the damage against a Spain team known for their struggles in the final third.
Those after a goalscorer bet, meanwhile, could do worse than back Pablo Sarabia at 6/5 in the Anytime Goalscorers market with the winger having struck twice in his team's recent Nations League campaign.
What: Belgium v Canada, World Cup Group F
Where: Al Rayyan Stadium
When: 19.00pm, Wednesday 23rd November 2022
How to watch: ITV1
For starters, forwards Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard have not been at their best for their clubs and there are concerns over the duo's fitness heading into the tournament.
As for the rest of their squad, the fact that veterans Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen are still featuring suggests options are limited at the back and this may not be a tournament to remember for the Red Devils.
They chalked up a few decent wins in the recent Nations League campaign but were hammered 4-1 by the Netherlands at home and lost to them 1-0 away and it is hard to see them going deep in the tournament.
At the back they may be lacking but Lille forward Jonathan David, who is among the leading scorers in Ligue 1 this season, could cause Belgium problems and is worth a bet at in the Anytime Goalscorers market.
Canada can also call on world class wide talent Alphonso Davies, who typically operates further forwards for the national team, as well as handy striker Cyle Larin.
They have the players to unsettle Belgium's ageing defence and should sniff blood when these sides lock horns at the Al Rayyan Stadium.