Canada forward Alphonso Davies eyes the ball during practice at the World Cup in Doha, Qatar, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Canada forward Alphonso Davies eyes the ball during practice at the World Cup in Doha, Qatar, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Canadians ready for today’s World Cup game against Belgium — first match since 1986

Canada returns to world soccer stage for the first time since 1986

Watch parties are planned across the country today as soccer fans get ready for the World Cup match between Canada and Belgium — Canada’s first game in the tournament since 1986.

In Montreal, a rivalry is brewing between the city’s French-speaking Belgian community and fans of Canada’s team, which is entering today’s game in Qatar as the overwhelming underdog.

But Canada received good news on Tuesday when it was revealed that winger Alphonso Davies — the team’s most dangerous player — has recovered from a hamstring injury and was declared fit to play.

Belgium is currently favoured to win Group F, which also includes 2018 finalist Croatia and Morocco, ranked 22nd in the world.

Belgium, however, will be without its star striker Romelu Lukaku, who hasn’t played a match in nearly a month because of a thigh injury.

Canada is ranked 41st in FIFA standings and Belgium is second. Game time is 11 a.m. in B.C.

RELATED: B.C.’s Joel Waterman is playing for Canada at the World Cup

RELATED: World Cup Viewer’s Guide: Davies to play in Canada’s return

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