Argentina and Croatia will battle for a place in the final of the 2022 FIFA World Cup this Tuesday when both sides meet in the first of the two semi-final fixtures of the World Cup.
Venue: Lusail Iconic Stadium (Lusail)
Argentina have suffered one defeat across their last 41 matches (W30, D10).
They have scored 2+ goals in each of their last four games.
La Albiceleste have never failed to reach the final after having reached the last four.
Croatia are unbeaten in their last eleven games (W6, D5–90 minutes only).
They have won five of their last six World Cup knockout games after extra time, four of them via a penalty shootout, meaning they possess a perfect World Cup penalty shootout record (W4).
Croatia are yet to score first during this tournament (W3, D2).
World Cup trivia: Robert Prosinečki is the only player to score in the World Cup for two different countries – Yugoslavia in 1990 and Croatia in 1998.
Head to head
In five meetings between both sides, Croatia and Argentina have one win apiece.
Latest performances in all competitions
Argentina will hope to avoid another heart-in-mouth moment this Tuesday when they face Croatia at the Lusail Iconic Stadium.
Lionel Messi and his teammate produced one of the most exciting yet shocking displays in this year’s World Cup last time out when they faced the Netherlands in the quarter-final.
Having taken a two-goal lead before the 65th minute courtesy of goals from Nahuel Molina and the magical Lionel Messi, Argentina took their foot off the pedal and allowed the Netherlands to get back and equalise 2-2 at the death courtesy of a brace by Wout Weghorst.
The game descended into an ill-tempered affair before La Albiceleste held their nerve to win on penalties thanks to the heroics of goalkeeper Emi Martinez.
Having passed their biggest test yet in this tournament this year, they will now hope to advance to the next and final round. Given their history at this stage of this tournament, they will fancy their chances as each time the La Albiceleste gets this far, they usually continue.
Lionel Scaloni’s side have never failed to reach the final after having reached the last four, and as reigning Copa Ámerica champions, they’re hardened knock-out competitors. After one defeat across their last 41 matches (W30, D10) they’re just a game away from a sixth World Cup final.
Messi will be motivated here too, given that this is likely to be his last chance at winning football’s biggest national trophy. He and his teammates will have the added bonus of being roared on by thousands of passionate Argentine fans in Lusail.
Possible Argentina starting line-up
Emiliano Martinez, Nicolas Otamendi, Lisandro Martínez, Cristian Romero, Nahuel Molina, Rodrigo De Paul, Alexis Mac Allister, Enzo Fernández, Nicolas Tagliafico, Lionel Messi, Julián Álvarez.
Injured: Marcos Acuna, Gonzalo Montiel
Doubtful: Dario Gomez
Croatia will look to kill another South American giant when they run out of the Lusail Iconic Stadium on Tuesday night.
The 2018 World Cup finalists continued their fairytale run in the World Cup last time when they beat tournament favourites and record winners Brazil on penalties last Friday.
In an entertaining game at Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, a Neymar goal in the 15th minute of extra time opened the scores and put Brazil a foot in the semi-finals.
However, Croatia responded almost immediately, with substitute Bruno Petkovic pulling them level before another inspiring performance from goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic between the sticks gave them a win in the penalty shootout.
With that result, Croatia have now won five of their last six World Cup knockout games after extra time, four of them via a penalty shootout, meaning they possess a perfect World Cup penalty shootout record (W4).
Speaking after the win, head coach Zlatko Dalić said, “We are experienced, and we are raised as fighters. “Only Croats can do that,” he added.
He will hope that his side can produce another inspiring and dogged performance this time against an Argentina side that they beat 3-0 at the group stage of this tournament four years ago.
Possible Croatia starting line-up
Dominik Livakovic, Josip Juranovic, Dejan Lovren, Josko Gvardiol, Borna Sosa, Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic, Mateo Kovacic, Andrej Kramaric, Bruno Petkovic, Ivan Perisic.
|Odds-Argentina||Odds-Croatia||% Argentina||% Croatia|
|In 90 mins||1.830||5.000||49.72||18.20|
Argentina 2-0 Croatia