Argentina to put Croatia Nightmare to Rest


Argentina will be looking to put behind them the ghost of 2018 when Croatia totally dominated them at the Nizhny Novgorod stadium in Russia, beating the two-time world champions 3-0, thanks to goals from Ante Rebic, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic.

After slaying South Americans giants Brazil another South American team is in the sights of Zlatko Dalic and his boys and this time the Copa America champions stand in the way of Croatia and a second successive world cup final appearance where they could still potentially clash with France or Morocco.

Led by seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi, Argentina have a very formidable squad that is quite different from the one that competed in Russia and to put it into perspective, only Nicolas Otamendi, Nicol├ís Tagliafico, Lionel Messi and Marcus Acuna remain from the team that started the game against Croatia with Angel Di Maria on the bench and Paulo Dybala coming on in the second half.

Having won the Copa America in 2021 and reaching four Major tournament finals since 2014, it’s safe to say Argentina are tested warriors and knows how to overcome tough knockout rounds.

Unlike in 2018 where the brilliance of Luka Modric, Ante Rebic and Ivan Perisic carried them all the way, this Croatia team is built more on the collective and are following the template that got them to the finals last time out, similar to the last edition, Croatia have now won their round of 16 and quarter finals clash against both Japan and Brazil on penalties.

It has been a contrasting tournament in terms of output for previous Ballon d’Or winners Modric and Messi, while talismanic Messi boasts of 4 goals and 2 assists for La Albiceleste, Luka Modric on the other hand, has only been able to assist one goal.

But that doesn’t in anyway limit the influence of the Croatia no. 10, as he is a willing runner, an astute passer of the ball and at 37 years, he still sets the tone for the rest of his teammates.

Argentina have only lost once in their last 41games (30W 10D), but showed signs of cracks when they lost to Saudi Arabia, had a nervy ending against Australia and gave away a two-goal lead against Netherlands.

Croatia will definitely be ready to pounce should Argentina slip,.but either ways football is set to be the biggest winner as both teams definitely deserve a place in the Final.


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