Argentina vs Croatia on Tuesday evening in a World Cup semi-final between the competition’s last two silver-medallists.
- Location: Al Daayen, Qatar
- Stadium: Lusail Iconic Stadium
- Date: Tuesday 14 December
- Kick-off time: 12:30 AM IST
- Watch: Sports 18/HD, Jio Cinema App
Argentina vs Croatia: Match Preview:
One of these teams was supposed to be here, but the other one was not as Argentina and Croatia meet in the 2022 World Cup semifinal, knowing a spot in the title match is on the line.
Argentina came into the World Cup as second-favorites to win the tournament, behind only CONMEBOL foes Brazil. The tournament seemed destined to pit the two South American rivals against each other in this semifinal, but Croatia spoiled the party by downing Brazil on penalties in the quarterfinal. The 2018 finalists are aiming to reach their second-straight title match, after falling just short at the hands of France four years ago.
Now, Luka Modric and company will hope to do the same to Lionel Messi and Argentina, who escaped with a penalty shootout win over the Netherlands in their quarterfinal despite a late capitulation that nearly doomed their World Cup hopes as well.
Messi, likely in his last FIFA World Cup, is once again putting his nation on his shoulders in the hopes of reaching a summit that neither he nor chief rival Cristiano Ronaldo has managed to crest.
There were fears that Rodrigo De Paul would miss the quarter-final with the Netherlands through injury which both the manager, Lionel Scaloni, and the player himself vehemently dismissed. De Paul lasted for 66 minutes before he was replaced by Leandro Paredes.
A record-breaking 18 cards were dished out in Argentina’s full-blooded final-eight encounter. Given that tally, it’s impressive that only two of Scaloni’s players are suspended. Fullbacks Marcos Acuna and Gonzalo Montiel will sit out the meeting with Croatia.
Four players went into Croatia’s quarter-final one caution away from a suspension – including the instrumental midfielders Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic – but managed to walk the disciplinary tightrope. Zlatko Dalic is expected to have a fully fit and available squad to select from.
Argentina vs Croatia: Head to Head:
Argentina and Croatia are on an even footing as far as the head-to-head record is concerned and have won two games apiece out of the five matches that have been played between the two teams.
The previous meeting between the two teams at the FIFA World Cup took place in the group stage in 2018 and ended in a 3-0 victory for Croatia.
Argentina could potentially reach the World Cup final for the sixth time in their history – only Germany have bettered them in this regard with eight final appearances.
Argentina Starting 11 (4-3-3): E Martinez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Tagliafico; De Paul, Fernandez, Mac Allister; Di Maria, Messi, Alvarez.
Bench: Armani, Rulli, Li Martinez, Pezzella, Foyth, Paredes, Rodriguez, Palacios, Almada, Gomez, Correa, Dybala, La Martinez.
Croatia Starting 11 (4-3-3): Livakovic; Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa; Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic; Kramaric, Petkovic, Perisic.
Bench: Grbic, Ivusic, Sutalo, Vida, Erlic, Barisic, Stanisic, Jakic, Sucic, Majer, Vlasic, Orsic, Livaja, Pasalic, Budimir.
ARG vs CRO: Dream11 Predictions:
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