The World Cup 2022 has reached the semi-final stage and it’s Argentina against Croatia for a place in the sport’s biggest match.
Lionel Messi’s dream of lifting the famous golden trophy remains alive after the South American side triumphed on penalties against Netherlands in the last eight, having let a two-goal lead slip late on in normal time.
The No10 has four goals so far in the tournament, the third-highest behind only two France forwards, and while he’s not exactly single-handedly dragging his team towards glory he has certainly improved and become more central to good performances as the tournament has gone on.
Meanwhile, Lionel Scaloni’s changes to the team, bringing in Enzo Fernandez, Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez in particular, have helped transform the effectiveness of the Albiceleste.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the last-four encounter.
When is the match?
The first semi-final of the 2022 World Cup sees Argentina face Croatia with a 7pm kick-off on Tuesday 13 December. The winners face either France or Morocco in the final.
Where can I watch?
This game will be broadcast live on ITV 1 and STV, while it can also be streamed on ITV X and the STV Player.
What is the team news?
Argentina will have at least one change to their starting XI, as Marcos Acuna is suspended. Nicolas Tagliafico will therefore come in at left-back. On the other side of defence Gonzalo Montiel is also suspended, though he’s behind Nahuel Molina now in any case. Lionel Scaloni went for a three-man back line against Netherlands but could revert to 4-3-3 here, which means either Angel Di Maria or Lautaro Martinez might be considered for a recall.
Croatia will keep it as settled as possible, with only Josip Stanic a doubt, though he hasn’t been a starter anyway. The big decision once more for Zlatko Dalic will be who to start as the third attacker, along with Ivan Perisic and Andrej Kramaric. Bruno Petkovic through the middle or Mario Pasalic on the right are the most likely options.
ARG – E Martinez, Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Tagliafico, E Fernandez, De Paul, Mac Allister, Di Maria, Messi, Alvarez
CRO – Livakovic, Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa, Brozovic, Modric, Kovacic, Pasalic, Kramaric, Perisic
Argentina to have the cutting edge and mental resilience where Brazil failed in the last round. Argentina 2-1 Croatia.
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