We are now nearing the homestretch of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. This midweek, we have the two semifinal round matches to determine which teams will slug it out for the trophy.
Which squads do we predict advancing to the final on 18 December?
Argentina vs Croatia head-to-head analysis
The two are 1-1 in World Cup fixtures with Croatia winning the most recent one, 3-0, in a group stage match in Russia. Of the three who sent the ball past the keeper, only Luka Modrić is in the roster. The other two were Ivan Rakitić and Ante Rebić.
They first saw each other in France in 1998, the Argentines coming out on top, 1-0. In five encounters, the Croats have scored more goals total, 7-5.
The numbers above bely the fact that the checkered red and white shirts have been grinding their victories. Although this could mean they can light up the scoreboad if there is an opportunity to do so.
For Argentina to be victorious, they should not let Croatia dictate the match. They should be relentless, take a risk if they need to be. If they have to play like they did against the Netherlands, they should.
If La Albiceleste do not score at least two goals, they could lose in a battle of attrition at extra time or the dreaded shootout.
Will reach penalty shootout
Under 2.5 goals
France vs Morocco head-to-head analysis
The thing with France that has barely been pointed out is that they do not have a clean sheet up to now. Whether it is a Hugo Lloris issue or a backline issue, it does not matter as long as they are able to outscore their opponents.
Meanwhile, scrappy Morocco is coming in shorthanded with injuries to their defenders and Walid Cheddira serving a suspension for his red card in their match against Portugal. How they will hold off Les Bleus’ blistering frontline of Golden Boot frontrunner Kylian Mbappé and France’s all-time leading topscorer Olivier Giroud would be a puzzle coach Walid Regragui would attempt to solve.
In past head-to-head engagements against the north African side, the French lead with five wins and two draws. Their most recent meeting was in a friendly in 2007 that ended in a 2-2 draw.
Our heart is on Morocco prevailing, but our money is on France.
France to win
Over 2.5 goals