World Cup – Argentina-Croatia
It’s now or never for Argentina against Croatia. These two teams will meet in a game from Group D of the World Cup at the Stadion Nizhny Novgorod. After the first round being played, we can say that Albiceleste are the team under pressure here.
This is because what happened during the first game of Argentina in the group. Jorge Sampaoli’s boys dissapointed and won just a point against Iceland – 1-1. The captain Lionel Messi missed a penalty kick and in most of the time the Argentine team did not look very well on the pitch. Sampaoli’s 4-4-2 formation did not work well, so it won’t be surprising if the manager change it to 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 against Croatia. One thing is for sure – Sampaoli will be looking for a change against the Croatian team.
In Argentina’s camp they know that anything, but a win against Croatia will mean that this team could miss out on participation at the 1/8-finals. Especially if they lose. Four years ago Albiceleste reached the final in Brazil, but now it’s not guaranteed that they will even pass the group stage.
Croatia in same time started the World Cup with a win against Nigeria. The Balkan team did not show the best it’s capable of, but the most important thing was the win. The Croats know that a second consecutive win here would mean a qualification for the knockout stages. And against this team of Argentina, having so many problems at the moment, this is a perfect opportunity.
What will Jorge Sampaoli do against Croatia? There are rumours that players like Marcos Rojo, Lucas Biglia and Angel Di Maria are going to be benched in the next game. Instead of them, we could see Mercado, Salvio, Acuna and Pavon in the starting eleven. One this is not debatable – Sampaoli can’t use the same XI from the game against Iceland. This formation just didn’t work.
Against Nigeria Croatia started with an offensive 4-3-3 formation, but some journalists are saying that against Argentina they will switch to more conservative 4-2-3-1. This is because the Croatian team will have to do something about keeping Lionel Messi quiet. It’s speculated that Fiorentina’s Milan Badelj will start the game, supporting his team in midfield. The Croats know that if they keep Leo Messi out of the game, for Argentina it’s going to be almost impossible to do something.
Surely there’s no lack of confidence in the Croatian team. Real Madrid’s midfielder Mateo Kovacic said that Croatia have a better team than Argentina, despite of Lionel Messi’s presence for the Albiceleste.
Meanwhile the Argentine team will have to find a way to improve its confidence, because the spirits are pretty low after the draw against Iceland.
This is our examination of the World Cup game from Group D between Argentina and Croatia. To be fair, this match is very difficult to predict. Pay attention to the problems in the Argentine camp, because they could be a major factor here.