Just four nations remain in the hunt for the 2022 World Cup, and the first place in Sunday’s final will be on the line on Tuesday evening, as Argentina and Croatia clash at the Lusail Stadium. But, will it be Lionel Messi guiding Argentina to a sixth World Cup final, or will Luka Modric be leading Croatia out in the second straight World Cup final on Sunday?
This is likely to be another closely fought contest at the World Cup, but Argentina is the commanding choice in the betting. The South American nation is currently available at 8/10 with BetXchange, while Croatia is a 4/1 chance to win in 90 minutes. The draw is available at 23/10. Goals may be in short supply for this semi-final, with over 2.5 goals currently available at 13/10. Meanwhile, under 2.5 goals is a 11/20 chance.
Argentina’s Route To The Semi-Final
Argentina has been one of the leading contenders to win the World Cup since the draw was made. However, their World Cup campaign got off to the worst possible start, as they were beaten 2-1 by Saudi Arabia in their opening game. But, they quickly put that setback behind them in their following two games in Group C, as they beat Mexico 2-0, before easing to a win against Poland by the same scoreline.
Argentina has ridden their luck in the knockout round to this point, edging to a 2-1 win against Australia in the round of 16. They almost blew their opportunity to reach the semi-final on Friday, as they let a 2-0 lead against the Netherlands slip. However, they eventually claimed victory from the penalty spot, winning 4-3 in the shootout.
Croatia’s Route To The Semi-Final
Many questioned whether this aging Croatian side could once again upset the odds and go deep in the World Cup. Those questions weren’t answered in their opening game, as they were held to a 0-0 draw against Morocco. However, they eventually managed to finish in second spot in Group F after beating Canada and settling for a goalless draw against Belgium.
Croatia has been excellent in extra time to this point, as they edged a penalty shootout against Japan in the round of 16, before beating Brazil by the same method in the quarterfinals. That win over Brazil means that they could become the second nation to eliminate both Argentina and Brazil in the same World Cup following Germany in 2014.
Head to Head
This is the third time that the two nations have squared off at the World Cup. Croatia were the victors in the previous meeting, as they won 3-0 in the group stage four years ago.
Argentina vs Croatia Prediction
This is likely to be a closer game than the odds suggest, as Croatia will be aiming to become the fourth European nation to reach back-to-back World Cups. However, Argentina will be looking to reach their sixth World Cup final. But, their record against European sides is very underwhelming, having beaten European opposition on just one occasion from their previous seven. Therefore, we could see a draw being played out in 90 minutes, before Argentina scrape through in extra time.