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Croatia vs Morocco, team news, lineups

A World Cup 2022 bronze medal is between Croatia and Morocco in Saturday’s third-place playoff at the Khalifa International Stadium, and neither side will turn their noses up at a podium finish on the biggest stage. Zlatko Dalic’s side were comfortably beaten 3-0 by Argentina in their semi-final, while the Atlas Lions put up a valiant fight against France but fell to the sword two goals to nil. Croatia vs Morocco FIFA World Cup.

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Croatia vs Morocco FIFA World Cup

Few attackers have faced the masked warrior Josco Guardiola and the RB Leipzig youngster got the better of him. But even one of Europe’s most in-demand defenders was no match for 35-year-old Lionel Messi.

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Before completely humiliating a man 15 years his junior, Messi smashed home the first goal in Argentina’s semi-final with Croatia from the penalty spot before Julián Alvarez’s solo run gave La Albiceleste their second, albeit partly a lucky one. Ricochet couples

There was nothing lucky about Argentina’s third. As Messi rolled back the years on the right before picking out Alvarez to deny Argentina a third and Croatia a second successive World Cup finals appearance – against 2018 foes France, no less.

Dalic’s side remarkably failed to win a knockout game in normal time in the 2018 final. And the semi-finals of the 2022 edition. And they are not entirely new to bronze medal matches, beating the Netherlands 2-1 in the 1998 third-place play-off. During their inaugural World Cup campaign.

A team that has consistently proven their mettle in extra-time and penalty shootouts, Croatia will not be relieved to hear that the third-place play-off was never decided on spot kicks. And the Moroccan fans will no doubt continue to boo them. Maximum drums for one last ride.

Morocco first African nation reached World Cup semi-final

Had it not been for a lack of killer instinct in the final third, Morocco – the first African nation to reach a World Cup semi-final – could have catapulted themselves into even greater football folklore by becoming the first team from the continent. Make it all the way to the finals.

Walid Regragui’s side certainly gave France a scare or two in Wednesday’s semi-final. But Theo Hernandez’s acrobatic effort and Randal Kolo Muani’s tap-in 44 seconds into the pitch ended the Atlas Lions’ dreams of Qatar dominance.

The Africans’ efforts were not helped by the early withdrawal of injured trio Nousair Mazraoui, Romain Saiss and Nayef Aguirre. But Morocco’s current crop will undoubtedly return home as national heroes and may yet have bronze medals around their necks. return flight

Regaragui’s side did not concede an opponent in Qatar before Hernandez breached their backline with just five minutes on the clock on Wednesday. But they could still become the first nation since 2010 winners Spain to keep five clean sheets. Singles World Cup.

Croatia and Morocco had a draw in Group F

Croatia and Morocco are renewing hostilities just weeks after their goalless draw in Group F. Where the Checkered Ones were restricted to just five attempts against Regargui’s backline and a similarly steadfast defensive display could set the Africans on their way to a breakthrough World Cup. cup honor

Injuries added to Croatia’s semi-final loss to Argentina, as midfield fulcrum Marcelo Brozovic withdrew in the 50th minute due to discomfort. And was classed as a major doubt for the third-placed play-off.

Twenty-year-old centre-back Guardiola needed injections to play through a foot injury in midweek and Dalic insisted he would not risk a player who is not 100% fit. So Lovro Majer and Kristijan Jakic must remain on the field. Standby to cover Brozovic in the middle if needed.

Another highly-rated centre-back in Josip Sutalo could take Guardiola’s place. While Ivan Perisic should keep his place on the left as he aims to become Croatia’s all-time leading goalscorer at the World Cup. Currently level with Tottenham Hotspur’s Davor Sukar on six.

Right-back Josip Juranovic was also unable to take part in training on Friday. So Josip Stanistic may have to fill in for his injured teammate here.

For Morocco, Regragui surprisingly restored Aguerde, Mazraoui and Saiss for their semi-final. But the injured trio dropped one by one – in Aguerde’s case just before the first whistle.

Saiss was also taken off after 20 minutes after being beaten for a pass by Olivier Giroud. With Mazraoui leaving Regragui at half-time where he started up front with an injury.

It’s hard to imagine Regragui risking Mazraoui or Aguirre from the first whistle for Saturday’s contest. So a return to 4-3-3 could be in order as Yahya Attiat Allah and Salim Amallah aim to force their way back into the starting lineup.

Team Formation

Croatia possible starting lineup:
Livakovic; Stanisic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa; Modric, Jakic, Kovacic; Vlasic, Kramaric, Perisic

Morocco possible starting lineup:
Bono; Hakimi, El-Yamiq, Dari, Attiyat-Allah; Ounahi, Amrabat, Amallah; Ziyech, En-Nesyri, Boufal

 

Prediction Croatia vs Morocco FIFA World Cup

We say: Croatia 1-1 Morocco

A trident of injured defenders may not inspire optimism for either side. But Morocco’s backline stand-ins put in performances to be proud of and now face a Croatia XI not renowned for attacking prowess.

The rearguards will likely come out on top in this bronze medal fight. But Regargui’s side will need to improve their final ball to make their pressure period count. And we believe the Atlas Lions can do just that and complete a magical World Cup journey. A podium finish.

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