FIFA World Cup 2018: Argentina vs. Croatia - June 21 [R]

Discussion in 'Argentina: Selecciones Nacionales' started by locoxriver, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. locoxriver

    locoxriver Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 22, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Club:
    CA River Plate
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Argentina vs Croatia

    Argentina [​IMG] Match 23 [​IMG] Croatia
    21 June 2018
    21:00 UTC+3 ( 11:00 AM PST / 2:00 PM EST)

    [​IMG]

    Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod (44,899 Capacity)

    ---------------------------------​

    Head-to-Head Statistics:

    - Matches Played: 4
    - 2 Argentina wins, 1 Croatia win, 1 tie

    The only match that occurred between the two in an official FIFA tournament was for the group stage of the 1998 World Cup in France. Argentina won said match 1-0 with a goal by defender Mauricio Pineda in what was his only career goal for the national team



    The win gave Argentina the first place spot in the group, with a perfect 9/9 point finish. That Croatian side would later make a deep run in the tournament, losing to eventual champions France in semifinals before receiving a third place consolation prize shortly after.

    Other than that, Argentina and Croatia have only faced each other in friendly matches.

    The first of three friendlies took place prior to the 1994 World Cup and finished in a scoreless draw.

    The two would later see each other again in another pre-World Cup friendly, this time in preparation for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Croatia won this match 3-2 (their only win vs. Argentina) with goals by Klasnić, Srna, and Šimić. Tevez and Messi scored early goals for Argentina. Of the players present that night, Messi is the only one to still be on the Argentine NT (and one of the few to still be active in general), while Luka Modrić --who debuted for Croatia that night-- is the only player from the Vatreni that will be present in Russia.



    The third and most recent friendly between Argentina and Croatia occurred in a post-2014 World Cup match that finished 2-1 in favor of Argentina, with goals by Cristian Ansaldi and Messi. From the players that played that match, Ansaldi, Fazio, Mascherano, Banega, Enzo Perez, Di Maria, Messi, and Aguero will be present in Russia, as will Caballero, Guzman, Otamendi, Biglia, and Higuain, who were subs that night.



    Croatia's Form:

    - Finished second --behind Iceland-- in Group I of the UEFA World Cup Qualifiers, with 6 wins, 2 losses, and 2 draws (15 GF, 4 GA). In the second round of qualifiers, they defeated Greece 4-1 on aggregate to make it to the 2018 WC.



    - Similarly to Iceland, Croatia pulled an upset at the 2016 Euros as they topped their group and defeated Spain 2-1 in the process. However, they were eliminated shortly after by Portugal in the Round of 16, in a match that was decided in the final minutes of extra time by a late Quaresma goal.

    - 2018 has been an irregular year for Croatia in terms of friendlies, with 2 wins and 2 losses in 4 games played. Coincidentally, both of their losses came at the hands of South American teams (0-2 loss to Peru in March, 0-2 defeat to Brazil last week), while their wins were minimal 1-goal victories vs. Mexico and Senegal, respectively.
     
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  2. Milan05

    Milan05 Member

    Dec 2, 2015
    Club:
    AC Milan
    Half time thoughts:

    Sub Lo Celso or Banega for Biglia
    Sub on Dybala later if still trailing
     
  3. soul24rage

    soul24rage Member

    Jun 13, 2009
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    I'm probably going to see Croatia vs Nigeria. Might as well be prepared of what we will be facing.
     
  4. pregra

    pregra Member

    Barcelona
    Argentina
    Dec 1, 2008
    Norway
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    I’d be very surprised if we even get a point in this one. I’ve already given up this WC to be honest. After todays showing, looking clueless after a months training camp, it won’t be any noticeable difference for this game - no matter what team we line up with. Only hope really is that Croatia is even worse but I can’t see that being possible.
     
  5. Rattlehead

    Rattlehead Member+

    Jun 21, 2010
    Jakarta
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    #5 Rattlehead, Jun 16, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
    Sampa is expecting a different result while using same core of players. Good luck to him.

    Di Maria, Masche, Rojo, Biglia probably will start again while Higuain & Banega will make cameo appearence. Its still 2014 afterall.
     
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  6. Albiceleste2010

    Albiceleste2010 Member+

    Watford
    Argentina
    Jun 5, 2010
    Watford
    Club:
    Watford FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    If I was coach I would bring the players in tomorrow after training.

    Show them a picture of a man trying to lift a huge weight and failing under the pressure.

    Then show them a group of men lifting the same weight and doing it successfully.

    Everyone on this team has to take responsibility. Not just take the easy option ie pass to Messi, pass to Messi. Help. I have the ball. Pass to Messi. What do I do ? Pass to Messi. Just ignore the fact he may have two or three players on him.

    Use your brains. What do you do ? Look for the space vacated by those marking Messi. Run into it. Pass into it. Remember who you are as players and how you normally play. Believe in your own abilities.

    Stop deferring to Messi all the time. It does not actually help him but hurts him. And movement. For the love of god move off the ball. Show for it and provide options and move the ball with pace.

    What has happened to these drills ?

    I might go with:
    -------------------------------Armani---------------------------------
    Ansaldi--------Otamendi--------Fazio--------Tagliafico------
    -------------------------Mascherano------------------------------
    ------Lo Celso-----------------------------Perez---------------
    ------------Messi------------------------Pavon-------------------
    -----------------------------Aguero-----------------------------------
     
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  7. locoxriver

    locoxriver Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 22, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Club:
    CA River Plate
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    That’s it right there. How is it so hard to understand?
     
  8. Ozora

    Ozora Member+

    Barcelona
    Spain
    Aug 5, 2014
    Club:
    Chelsea LFC
    i see 2002 is coming
     
  9. Rattlehead

    Rattlehead Member+

    Jun 21, 2010
    Jakarta
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina

    Yes, off ball Movement instead standing still like a statue! Im amazed that only few our players are willing to sprint. When we had the ball, everyone looked 99% static and only run at walking pace... and this is a WC!

    Id also start Perez & Pavon , no more Biglia & Di Maria.

    Kun is the best player today, scored and won a penalty. Hopefully he can maintain his form & fitness.
     
  10. SupaMario

    SupaMario Member+

    Aug 31, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Club:
    CA Tigre
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    Lets try to be a bit more calm. As I stated in the Iceland thread, this match mirrored the game v Iran four years ago, the only difference was that Messi rescued us in the dying seconds. Our defense was all over the place, the attack was terrible, goal keeping was shaky. So, lets wait and see what occurs in the coming days.
     
  11. soul24rage

    soul24rage Member

    Jun 13, 2009
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    Watching the Nigeria-Croatia game, we have to be more mobile in midfield in both games. There is no point starting both Biglia and Masche as they don't even provide enough defensive cover, so better to outscore the opponent. Croatia's left side looks stronger compared to their right, with Perisic providing great crosses. I would pick this XI

    ---------------------Armani
    Salvio--Otamendi---Fazio--Tagliafico
    ------------Masche------Lo Celso
    Enzo----------Messi----------Pavon
    -------------------Kun

    Croatia's midfield is the key, which is why I think Enzo's energy is the key as I think he can provide extra defensive cover for Salvio and Messi (we know Messi is not going to pressure Rakitic, their deepest midfielder) Plus he and Messi can switch position well so that Messi can drift to the right wing. I'm not sure how fit Enzo is especially since he came back to the team recently, but if he is fit to start, I would play him. Hit them with pace and directness. This game will be really hard
     
  12. SupaMario

    SupaMario Member+

    Aug 31, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Club:
    CA Tigre
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    Croatia only allowed 4 goals in 10 games. They’ll be tough to crack.
     
  13. soul24rage

    soul24rage Member

    Jun 13, 2009
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    Indeed, this is the type of game where, for me, it's really 50-50. A draw in this game wouldn't be a bad result for me.
     
  14. Rattlehead

    Rattlehead Member+

    Jun 21, 2010
    Jakarta
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    I believe Serbia conceided just 1 goal in 2006 qualifier and topped Spain... they sure as hell found away to let Argentina scored countless goal:D

    Messi terribly needs his first goal in this WC, otherwise he'd keep performing like he did against Iceland.
     
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  15. SupaMario

    SupaMario Member+

    Aug 31, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Club:
    CA Tigre
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    Croatia has a very good keeper and their defense will test our forwards. I don't believe they'll park the bus, Croatia wants to have possession of the ball, so I believe our players will press their players but our midfield and defense will be needed to be on their toes.

    It will be a high-pressure game, and three points will be crucial. But, the last time we were in a situation like this, we survived, we came back from 0-1 in Quito and won the game. We will need another performance like this. And yes, Messi will need to get a goal, and if he does, I believe the goals will flow.

    The game will be in 5 days, we will play Thursday, and Nigeria-Iceland will play Friday, so both teams will know what they have to do to put them in position to finish in the top 2. But the good news is, we'll get an additional day of rest, as our third game will be following Tuesday.
     
  16. Rattlehead

    Rattlehead Member+

    Jun 21, 2010
    Jakarta
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    If we beat Croatia, then we will top the group if Iceland couldnt beat Nigeria. If they win then it would be depend on the our goal margin.
     
  17. Rattlehead

    Rattlehead Member+

    Jun 21, 2010
    Jakarta
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    Its a good thing that we will face Croatia next. If its Nigeria, then Croatia might have secured second round ticket by beating Iceland. Things can be really complicated if we only draw Croatia and Nigeria beat Iceland. That would means Nigeria (3 points) and Croatia (4 points) topping the group before the last group matches.

    However, since Nigeria already had a lost , we can still qualify if we draw Croatia but only if we beat Nigeria in last game. A draw against Croatia means its a knockout round game against Nigeria.
     
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  18. soul24rage

    soul24rage Member

    Jun 13, 2009
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    I believe that Messi will have a better game vs Croatia. I thought he was a bit unlucky vs Iceland where two of shots could have been a goal excluding the penalty. Sampa really has to get the player selection in defense and midfield correctly. And for the sake of our good health, I'm really really hoping we win. I think I'll be sick for the next few days if we lose to Croatia haha
     
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  19. locoxriver

    locoxriver Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 22, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Club:
    CA River Plate
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    On paper Croatia has a much more talented squad with the likes of Modric, Rakitic, Perisic, Mandzukic, Pjaca, etc..... but from the very beginning it was obvious that the Iceland game was going to be much difficult for Argentina than the Croatia match.

    That is not to say that we will beat Croatia by any means, but teams like Iceland and Iran (that bunker with 11 in the back) are always the ones that Argentina has the most difficulty breaking. The Croats, being more offensive-minded and having some flaws in the back, are a much better team for us to face, tactically speaking.

    We'll see what happens, but at this stage anything less than a win would be catastrophic
     
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  20. Milan05

    Milan05 Member

    Dec 2, 2015
    Club:
    AC Milan
    http://www.milanmania.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=809&pid=133506#pid133506
     
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  21. Rattlehead

    Rattlehead Member+

    Jun 21, 2010
    Jakarta
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    If we lose to Croatia, we can get eliminated even if we win the next game I think. Depend on other matches result off course, but you never want to rely on that.

    Messi clearly having an ultra big preasure and it shows on his face right after Iceland scored the equalizer. Once he get his first goal, his confidence will be on the next level. Again, he shouldnt take penalty, Aguero should. Even if Aguero miss, it wont add an even bigger preasure on Messi.


    One good thing from the first game is that Kun looks sharp and he now had scored in 4 consecutive games for Argentina . The fact that he also won that penalty means, there shouldnt be a chance for Higuain to even start.
     
  22. Primitive Ways

    Primitive Ways Member+

    Jan 30, 2009
    Florida
    Club:
    Barcelona Guayaquil
    Nat'l Team:
    Ecuador
    I’ve been wondering. Messi had 2 and sometimes 3 players on him at all times. Why didn’t Sampaoli use him as a decoy to open them up?
     
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  23. Rattlehead

    Rattlehead Member+

    Jun 21, 2010
    Jakarta
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    Messi can still be threatening alot more if he stays closer to the goal, this is why Lanzini injury really a huge blow for us. Now we have to rely on Masche's passing and Messi always ended up in midfield all over again since Biglia offers nothing in midfield other than making a mistake that leds into Iceland goal.

    Also, something needs to be done with the defensive department. I'd drop Rojo and started Fazio.

    Pavon has proven to be alot more effective than Di Maria against bunkering opponents. He should have won us a penalty which was not given.
     
  24. Rattlehead

    Rattlehead Member+

    Jun 21, 2010
    Jakarta
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    From Maradona instagram

    "I started la World Cup with a loss, not a tie. It was in our first game in Italy '90. And despite the injuries, despite everything, we reached the final, thanks to Goyco and the sacrifice of all the boys. Let's keep supporting the team. LET'S GO ARGENTINA!!!"
     
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  25. wangballer

    wangballer Member

    Oct 11, 2016
    Samp said that he is gonna bring on Dybala when the time is right. Anybody know what even means? :(
     

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