If you’re a Canadian soccer fan under the age of 40, there is a fair chance you don’t remember the last time your country played at a World Cup. If you do remember, you could probably just as happily forget: a plucky Maple Leafs side was beaten in consecutive pool matches by France, Hungary and the USSR, didn’t score a single goal, and made the short trip back from Mexico barely a week after they kicked off their first game.
There are plenty of reasons to feel confident that this year’s version will outperform the 1986 vintage of Canadian team. If you’re a soccer bettor based in Canada, not only can you read this article to learn what are the best betting sites in Ontario, you can put that knowledge to some use by betting on your side, and not feel like you’re just throwing money away. No, we’re not going to suggest that Canada could win the World Cup, but we are going to look at some bets that could be worth making.
Cyle Larin to be tournament top scorer
Now, it’s fair to make the argument that this World Cup will feature Harry Kane, who led the scoring at the last one. Along with him, it will also have Kylian Mbappe, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Romelu Lukaku and Serge Gnabry among others, and any of these players could well be in the tournament until the last kick, so they have a better shot than Larin to score the most goals. But it’s also true that in 1994, Russia’s Oleg Salenko scored six times to win a share in the Golden Boot, and his side was eliminated in the group stage. James Rodriguez, who scored the same amount, won the crown twenty years later, but Colombia exited after a 2-0 loss in the quarters.
So Larin – or Jonathan David, for that matter – will be a long-odds outsider in this market. But if Canada have a decent group stage, it’s far from unthinkable that they might do it.
Canada to make the knockout stages
Any Canadian fan picking a World Cup pool from the available opponents would probably have sought to avoid pairing their side with the teams who picked up silver and bronze medals at the last edition. Oh well, welcome to the global football festival, your first two opponents are Belgium and Croatia. Also, let’s not forget Morocco, whose squad features players from Barcelona, PSG, and three from Sevilla. So can Canada get past these teams? They absolutely can. Belgium have yet to really cash in the potential of their Golden Generation, and it’s beginning to lose its shine. Croatia looked very ordinary at Euro 2020. Morocco won’t be a whipping boy, but they’re no France. It’s going to be a competitive group.
Canada to beat Croatia
As runners-up in 2018, you’d ordinarily look to Croatia as a team hoping to go one better next time. However, even at the time there was a sense that the Balkan side was one at the peak of its powers, which Euro 2020 would tend to reinforce. They’re still technically excellent, and topped their group in European World Cup qualifying – but that was against a very ordinary selection of teams including Russia, Bulgaria and Slovenia. They’re there to be got at by an energetic side, which Canada certainly has. Croatia will start that match as favourites – but David Herdman’s men can end it as winners.