Argentina vs Croatia Match Analysis & Prediction
13/12/2022 10:00 pm
Croatia will be looking to reach back-to-back World Cup finals when they meet with Argentina in Tuesday’s semi-final at Lusial Iconic Stadium.
The penalty prowess of both sides settled nervy quarter-final contests, as Zlatko Dalic’s side eliminated Brazil on spot kicks a few hours before La Albiceleste beat the Netherlands fron 12 yards.
Argentina had one foot firmly in the semi-finals through Nahuel Molina and the Lionel Messi’s penalty, but a late brace from Wout Weghorst forced the unlikeliest of extra-time periods.
The footballing gods would have surely delivered an all-Souht American semi-final between Brazil and Argentina, and while that will not be the case for Lionel Scaloni’s side, the Copa America winners’ record in World Cup semi-finals makes for very pleasant reading indeed.
Argentina have never been eliminated from the World Cup in the final four and have advanced to the final every time that they have got this far, the fifth and most recent of which came in the 2014 edition before their heartbreaking defeat to Germany.
While Brazil were struggling to find a way through the notoriously dogged Croatia defence, Neymar broke the deadlock in the 106th minute, but Bruno Petkovic’s 117th-minute strike found its way into the corner through a deflection to force penalty shootouts.
Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic kept Brazil out 11 times before also saving from Rodrygo in the shootout, and the Selecao dream was dashed when Marquinhos’ effort crashed against the post, allowing the Checkered Ones to celebrate a second successive World Cup semi-final.
The Checkered Ones remarkably reached the 2018 World Cup final without winning any of their knockout matches in normal time, and history is on the verge of repeating itself for Dalic’s side, who are now unbeaten in 11 games ahead of their showdown with Argentina.
Croatia would be in elite company if they manage to progress to the showpiece event, with only Italy, the Netherlands and Germany having ever reached back-to-back finals, and Dalic’s side can take encouragement in the fact that they have never failed to score in 10 World Cup knockout matches.
Argentina vs. Croatia Head to head
These two nations have previously met on five occasions in two competitions, where they have each won twice while drawing once. Argentina have scored five goals and conceded seven in the process.
Argentina Team News
Argentina’s Gonzalo Montiel was unlikely to challenge Molina for the right-back berth, and Marcos Acuna will pass left-back responsibilities over to Nicolas Tagliafico.
Alejandro Gomez is pushing to be available as he steps up his recovery from an ankle sprain, with Rodrigo De Paul and Angel Di Maria expecting to be fit to start.
Argentina's Last 5 Matches
22/11/2022Argentina1Saudi Arabia2World Cup
Croatia Team News
Dalic should be working with all of his troops for Tuesday’s contest after Mislav Orsic and Borna Sosa both recovered from respective illnesses.
Andrej Kramaric may be fearing for his place at the tip of the attack after Petkovic’s equaliser in the quarter-finals, but the Hoffenheim man will likely retain his place from the start.
Croatia's Last 5 Matches
Argentina vs. Croatia: Odds and Predictions
Double Chance: Argentina or Draw
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