Argentina vs Croatia: Three Key battles which will determine the winners

Argentina vs Croatia: Three Key battles which will determine the winners

The semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup 2022 are set to be underway

The 1st Semi Final of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar is between two footballing giants, Argentina and Croatia. They both have an amazing and thrilling tournament so far. It is hard to decide who’s got the edge before the because for every advantage of one team there’s another one from the opposite side.

Argentina didn’t start their tournament as was expected. They lost to Saudi Arabia in their opening match which ended their 36-matches undefeated streak. However, after that debacle they have just played one of the best football in the tournament. They marched through the group with the top spot. They beat Australia in the Round of 16. The match against Netherlands was a tough which went to the last kick of the penalty shootouts, but facing all difficulty and tensions of the match, Argentina managed to win the fixture and move to Semis to face the 2018 World Cup runner up Croatia.

Croatia had a mild group stage; they drew against Morocco and Belgium. They were 2nd in the group and were up against Japan in the Round of 16. They won the match against Japan on penalty shootouts. In the Quarter Finals, they were against the favourites Brazil, after a tough match they again won it on Penalty shootouts. They have drawn against Argentina, who are also the Favourites to win this tournament in Qatar.

Key Battles to look up for in the Semi-Final.

Argentina and Croatia were in same group in the World Cup 2018 in Russia. In their group match, Croatia thrashed Argentina by 3-0. This will be the perfect opportunity for the Albiceleste to get their revenge on the European Underdogs and advance to the finals. The match will be played on Wednesday, 14 December in Lusail Stadium at 12:30 a.m. IST.

Nahuel Molina vs Ivan Perisic

Nahuel Molina opened the scoring for La Albiceleste in their match against Netherlands. He also provided an assist in the match against Poland. The Atletico Madrid right back has found his momentum and is seen constantly engaging in attack and defence. He is become a key player in the team.

In the Croatian side, the player to match him is the Tottenham star Ivan Perisic. Perisic is having a good tournament. he has scored against Japan in the Round of 16 of the tournament. He is a strong element of the Croatian team, which requires some special attention by the opposite team to deal with him.

Also Read: Argentina vs Croatia: Predicted lineup, injury news, head-to-head

Rodrigo De Paul vs Luka Modric

Modric has been in exceptional for in FIFA World Cup 2022

Luka Modric is far more superior in the midfield both in skills and in experience. He is a constant menace in the field for the opposite side, creating chances and winning balls. Modric won the Golden Ball in the 2018 World Cup for his performance and in this edition, he is doing the same job of leading his team.

The man against Modric is the semi-final will be the Atletico Madrid star Rodrigo De Paul. De Paul has been having a great tournament. He was of the team in every game so far in the tournament. De Paul is guiding the Argentine midfield and giving Messi the supports he need from the midfield.  He is good with his pressing and passing. The duel between Modric and De Paul will be worth watching.

Also Read: Croatia predicted lineup for World Cup semi-final clash against Argentina

Lionel Messi vs Josko Gvardiol

A star striker against a classic shot stopper, this will be an epic duel. Messi is in amazing form in this World Cup. It seems like he has made up his mind to take the trophy home. He has scored 4 goals in the tournament so far and has provided two assists. He is the centre of Argentine attacks in this tournament. But in this match, Messi will be facing the Croatian defender Josko Gvardiol.

Gvardiol is the man seen with a mask in the Croatian defence. The 20-years-old is one of the best Croatian defenders in this tournament. He is known as a promising young talent who delivers when required. He has won around 70% of the duels. It will be interesting to see an experienced attacker Messi versus an emerging talent Gvardiol.

Apart from them, the two players to look forward in the match are the goalkeepers of each side. Emi Martinez and Dominik Livaković are in amazing form. Livakovic has made his name by performing outstandingly well in not only defending during the play but also by single handily winning his team the penalty shootouts.

He enlisted himself in the list of goalkeepers with three saves in a World Cup penalty shootout. He also played a major role in defending the goal during open play in this tournament so far. It will be interesting to see both the players locking horns in the World Cup Semi-final. While Emi Martinez has just given his best performance of the tournament against Netherlands by saving two penalties.

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