World Cup semi-final preview: Argentina vs Croatia

World Cup semi-final preview: Argentina vs Croatia

We're into the business end of the 2022 World Cup as Argentina faces Croatia for a place in Sunday's showpiece.

The game pits Lionel Messi's team of continental superstars against Luka Modric's extremely impressive veterans.


Following the return of defender Borna Sosa, Zlatko Dalic should have a full Croatia complement to select from.

For Argentina, things are not as clear-cut. They're without Marcos Acuna and Gonzalo Montiel, absent through suspension.

The Argentinian faithful will be watching on nervously over the fitness of veteran Angel Di Maria. The 34-year-old has predominantly featured from the bench as he attempts to overcome injury.



Having fallen at the final hurdle in 2014, Lionel Messi hopes to become the third Argentina Captain to lift the famous trophy.

The man dubbed the 'little magician' has one final opportunity to write his name in the books of the game's most exclusive tournament.

His performances in Qatar have often dazzled, with moments of sheer wonder a thing of normality.

The Croatians continue to defy logic in Qatar. On several occasions, they've appeared to be out on their feet - devoid of the necessary energy to prevail.

Despite this, a singular unit charges forward and has overcome every opponent thus far, scalping the tournament favourites in Brazil in their latest outing.

In Modric, Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic, they have arguably the best midfield in international football and their place in the final four is more than justified.

They'll also be understandably confident when considering their 2018 victory against the South Americans.

Given the size and stature of Croatia, it is truly magnificent that they have been able to make it into consecutive World Cup semi-finals.

Ironically, despite the wealth of talent on the pitch, both have reached this stage thanks in part to superb goalkeeping.

In Emi Martinez and Dominik Livakovic, a goalkeeping masterclass has often taken the headlines, with flamboyance meeting a reserved undertone.

Kick-off in this intriguing encounter is at 7:00 pm.