FIFA World Cup 2022: Croatia vs Argentina – Head-to-head, key stats, expected starting eleven, road to the quarterfinals, venue details and more | Football news

It’s time for the first semi-final of Qatar 2022. Runners-up of the last edition of the World Cup Croatia will face two-time champions early Wednesday morning (Indian time) Argentinawho are aiming for their first title since 1986 and also a first for their superstar player and captain, Lionel Messi.
If Argentina win, it will be one step closer to the title that has eluded them for the last 36 years, while if Croatia win they would represent the two big South American heavyweights in this edition – Brazil and Argentina – and enter a second subsequent final of World Cup. In 2018, they lost to eventual champions, France. Argentina last played in a World Cup final in 2014, when they lost to eventual champions Germany.
Both teams advanced to the semi-finals with penalty shoot-out victories in the quarterfinals. There were a record 17 yellow cards in the quarter-finals between Argentina and the Netherlands.

Ahead of the big match between Croatia and Argentina, takes a look at the head-to-head between these two teams, key stats, expected starting lineups and more:
What: First semi-final of the 2022 FIFA World Cup
Teams: Croatia and Argentina
FIFA Rankings – Croatia – 12; Argentina – 3
Where is it: Iconic Lusail Stadium, Lusail, Qatar
Starting time: 12:30am IST, Wednesday 14th December

fifa semifinal training

Key Stats:
– Argentina has never lost a World Cup semi-final. They progressed to the finals whenever they reached the bottom four
– Argentina plays its sixth World Cup semi-final
– Croatia plays its third World Cup semi-final
– The last time Argentina was in the final was in the 2014 edition, when they lost to Germany
– The last time Croatia was in the final was in the last edition in 2018, when they lost against France
– Argentina last won the World Cup in 1986, with Diego Maradona as captain
– Croatia has never won the World Cup title
– Croatian goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic has 19 saves to his name so far and is second in the list of most saves at Qatar 2022
– Lionel Messi is tied for second (with Olivier Giroud) in the Golden Boot race, with 4 goals so far
– Croatia are unbeaten in 11 games
– Only three teams have reached consecutive World Cup finals: Germany, Italy and the Netherlands
– Argentine full-backs Marco Acuna and Gonzala Montiel are suspended for the semi-final against Croatia thanks to the cards collected in the quarter-final against the Netherlands
– Argentina only got 1 win in their last 7 matches against European opponents at the World Cup
– Lionel Messi has scored in 4 of Argentina’s 5 matches so far at Qatar 2022
– Argentina lost their first match of this season’s group stage against Saudi Arabia


Head to Head (Overall):
Games played: 5
Argentina win: 2
Won by Croatia: 2
Draws: 1
Goals Scored – Croatia – 7; Argentina – 5
Head to Head (in FIFA WC):
Games played: 2
Argentina win: 1
Croatia win: 1


Previous 2 World Cup matches (both group stage games):
June 1998: Argentina beat Croatia 1-0, with a goal from left-back Mauricio Pineda in the 36th minute
June 2018: Croatia beat Argentina 3-0, with goals from Rebic, Modric and Rakitic (most recent match)
Expected Initial XIs:
Damien Emiliano Martinez (PO); Nahuel Molina (defender); Nicolas Otamendi (defender); Cristian Romero (defender); Nicholas Tagliafico (defender); Enzo Fernandez (midfielder); Alexis MacAllister (midfielder); Rodrigo De Paoli (midfielder); Angel Di Maria (forward); Lionel Messi (forward); Julian Alvarez (forward)
Dominik Livakovic (PO); Josko Gvardiol (defender); Josip Juranovic (defender); Dejan Lovren (defender); Borna Sosa (defender); Luka Modric (midfielder); Marcelo Brozovic (midfielder); Matthew Kovacic (midfielder); Mario Pasalic (midfielder); Andrej Kramaric (forward); Ivan Perisic (forward)
Road to the semifinals:
League stage:
– Lost to Saudi Arabia 1-2
– Beat Mexico 2-0
– Beat Poland 2-0
Round of 16:
– Beat Australia 2-1
Quarter finals:
– Beat the Netherlands 4-3 on penalties after a 2-2 draw


Croatian Ivan Perisic and Argentine Lionel Messi. (Photo by AFP)
League Stage:
– Draw with Morocco 0-0
– Beat Canada 4-1
– Draw with Belgium 0-0
Round of 16:
– Beat Japan 3-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw
Quarter finals:
– Beat Brazil 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw
Best result:
Champions: 1978, 1986
Runner-up: 2018


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