On Tuesday, December 13, at Lusail Stadium, Argentina will play Croatia in the semi-finals. Both squads will be playing on Tuesday knowing that a win would move them closer to the World Cup championship. This WorldCup22 special will discuss whether these countries have what it takes to go to the championship round.
Already having eliminated the tournament’s heavy World Cup betting odds 2022 favorites, Croatia must now end Lionel Messi’s hopes of reaching the World Cup final. Are they up to the task?
Croatia is quite good at avoiding defeat. Their midfield three of Marcelo Brozovic, Mateo Kovacic, and Luka Modric have the technical prowess on the ball to control extended stretches, and they are tenacious and well-organized when defending.
Lionel Messi and Argentina will have a tough time breaking them down, and the longer the game remains close, the more confident Croatia will become. It has taken penalties for them to advance in eight of their last nine major tournament knockout matches, including wins over Japan and Brazil in Qatar.
Croatia’s strategy is to distract Argentina and Messi for long enough even for fear to set in, at which point they’ll try to capitalize. Their performance at the last two World Cups points to the strategy’s efficacy. Make sure to check our World Cup 2022 fixtures Singapore time page. It’s not hard to imagine them defeating Argentina if they’ve already beaten Brazil.
The most glaring reason why Argentina will face Croatia in the final is that they have superior plays. There’s a good reason why Argentina and Messi came to Qatar with championship aspirations and Croatia and Modric came with only survival aspirations.
Croatia scored four goals against Canada in the group stage but has only scored twice in their remaining four games. Against Brazil, their single goal came in the 166th minute.
In 2018, they made it all the way to the final, when they were soundly beaten by France. In 65 minutes of play, they gave up four goals. The fact that they had already completed the closest thing of an extra game throughout the knockout stage (120 minutes) in the round of 16 and the quarterfinals/semifinals should not have come as a surprise.
It’s possible that Croatia could tire out against Argentina after playing extra time and penalties against Japan and Brazil, and coach Lionel Scaloni will be able to sub in a number of his best players.
The legendary Argentine player netted a penalty and made a sensational assist in a shootout win over the Netherlands that kept his World Cup hopes alive in his final campaign. But can they win the match if Messi is their lone star player?
Lionel Messi has led Argentina to the finals of the World Cup thanks to his talent and force of personality, and this is likely his last chance to win the tournament. He no longer possesses the same explosive burst of pace as he did at his peak, but at the age of 35, he has proven that he can still be the game-changing factor.
His goals helped Argentina to victories against Mexico and Australia, and his backward pass for Nahuel Molina’s goal against the Netherlands in the quarterfinals was a World Cup highlight. Don’t miss any further matches with our World Cup 2022 free livestream!
Messi will need to perform miracles once more if Argentina is to beat a Croatia team that is more capable than most at handling the pressures of a major tournament. Modric is just as influential as Messi on the 2018 World Cup finalists, who are a tough and proud group. Nonetheless, this time around, Argentina seems to be fulfilling its destiny.
Argentina’s chances of winning diminish significantly without Messi in the lineup. Despite Argentina’s reputation for producing world-class athletes, Messi has a dearth of top-tier backers at home. Although Alexis Mac Allister, Enzo Fernandez, and Julian Alvarez all performed well at the Qatar Championships, they are not among the best players in the world.
Just think how much Serio Aguero or Gabriel Batistuta would help Argentina’s cause right now if they were still active.
So far, Argentina’s lack of pace and inventiveness hasn’t been a huge problem, but as the tournament nears its decisive stage, the crucial nuances count and they’ll be required to discover anything extra to overcome Croatia.
As with all of Croatia’s opponents, Lionel Scaloni’s side will need to find a method to prevent Modric from controlling play with his passing and dribbling in midfield. How well Argentina defends against Modric and how effectively they pose threats to Croatia outside of Messi’s abilities will determine the outcome of this match.
Argentina and Croatia, the two most recent runners-up at the World Cup, meet in the semi-finals of Qatar 2022 in the hopes of reclaiming their spot on the world’s biggest stage. Why not make the most of your World Cup experience by taking advantage of Solarbet’s best World Cup bet offers?