The quadrennial event will see its second last game of the tournament.

The Albiceleste and the Les Blues have made it to the finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. But there’s all to play for in order to brag about a bronze medal with Croatia and Morocco. Croatia accomplished something impossible to comprehend when they knocked off the tournament’s favourites Brazil in the Quarterfinals. The Vatreni fell short of fuel when they were thrashed 3-0 in their semi-final clash against Argentina.

Now they will be up against the hungry Atlas Lions who have had quite a run in this tournament. They are looking to end it on a high note. Morocco under Walid Regragui has resurrected from the ashes and blown the world away by the storm. Becoming the first African nation to reach the semi-finals of a World Cup. Though they were defeated by the French side (2-0) in what was a feisty encounter. There’s all to play for in the Third place play-off match as we go ahead. Let’s have a look at what could be the predicted XI for Dalic’s side against Morocco at the Khalifa International Stadium on Saturday:

Croatia’s predicted lineup against Morocco (4-3-3).

Dominic Livakovic (Goalkeeper)

The goalkeeper of the tournament so far if not bested by Yassine Bounou and Emiliano Martinez. He has kept the likes of Belgium, Portugal, and Spain at bay and recorded four clean sheets in this tournament. An individual with great organizational skills, his reflexes and agility has been a key factor in Croatia’s run. He has saved a World Cup penalty shootout record-equaling number of spot-kicks against Spain and Brazil.

Josep Juranovic (Right-Back)

Most of the Croatian attacks have been based down the right-hand side in which he played a massive part. Joining the attack at the right moment and also galloping down to defend. His desire to win the one-on-one situations has helped the relatively elder Dejan Lovren a lot throughout this tournament. Offensively, he prefers to run at the heart of the opposition’s defence and send in teasing crosses for Croatia’s attackers to benefit from.

Dejan Lovren (Centre-Back)

Having not missed a single game of the tournament, it is very unlikely that this man is not going to start. Though there is an option of the veteran Domagoj Vida on the bench. Lovren keeps the defence intact and instils calmness into the team. With a total of 31 recoveries, 6 interceptions, 29 clearances and 5 blocks throughout the tournament, he is the main wolf of the Kockasti backline.

Josko Gvardiol (Centre-Back)

Criticism is a part of every individual’s game and this man is facing it a lot after Messi wriggled his way past him. Although he had done everything right as a defender is taught to. It was the brilliance of Messi who made football look so easy to assist Julian Alvarez in Argentina’s final goal.  But you cannot take away the plaudits from this 20-year-old who is so talented. His ability to progress the ball, range of passing, excellent carrying and dribbling skills, no-nonsense tenaciousness, and fantastic active and 1v1 defending, among other traits, makes him one of the best centre-back in the world at the moment.

Borno Sosa (Left Back)

Sosa’s disbalance in the defence may have cost Croatia a place in the World Cup Final. Although, he still remains the best option for Zlatko Dalic. Playing in a 4-3-3 formation, he will be vital down the left-hand side to win aerial duels against Aguerd and Saiss during set pieces. His long strides down the midfield are also a plus as he shifts his dynamics into the centre rather than being an orthodox left-back.

Luka Modric (Central Midfielder)

The 37-year-old legend of the game will be bidding an emotional farewell to the World Cup and is sure to make the starting XI. A midfielder to idolize for ages to come. The 2018 Ballon d’Or winner has been at the heart of every Croatian attack or defence. He seems to be ageless at this moment and the world will be rooting to see his heroics for one last time in the grandest stage of them all.

Marcelo Brozovic (Central Midfielder)

The defensive midfielder from Inter Milan has had yet another impressive tournament. His game’s main trait is keeping the ball rolling and tiring down the opponents. Once the opposition gets exhausted, it gives the likes of Kovacic and Perisic to pounce on them. Which has been a streamlined strategy from Zlatko Dalic so far. A great passer of the ball and a player with an intricate sense of the pitch, he will be a key factor to stop the likes of Ounahi and Amrabat in midfield and control the game.

Mateo Kovacic (Central Midfielder)

Being the leader of the high press and then the last man sweeping up behind the centre-backs in virtually the same minute of play is just quite incredible. His agility and his ball-carrying abilities further up the pitch have threatened the defences of many throughout the tournament. A player of his class, he is not recognized by many but he is one of the most important aspects of the team. Having a pass accuracy of 91%, he has played 387 passes in six matches averaging 60 passes per game which is a thing to look out for.

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Mario Pasalic (Right Winger)

Mario Pasalic has had a slow rise to the top in his career. Dalic has mostly shuffled him with Bruno Petkovic in terms of attacking but he is a favourite to start this game. Bringing a deft sense of professionalism, he prefers to control the game in the opposition’s half through short passing patterns of play. A beast in the opposition’s penalty box, he brings the height factor into the space in order to win aerial battles. It will be a mouth-watering clash between him and Roman Saiss to look out for.

Andrej Kramaric (Centre-Forward)

His close control and technical capabilities will be on display once more as he will look to score the goals that have been a problem for Croatia. A player of immense talent, he is a versatile striker who is mobile enough to run behind defences and rather than waiting for crosses or ball to come to him, tends to run towards the ball, engulfing his opposition with an air of unpredictability about his play.

Ivan Perisic (Left Winger)

The Tottenham Hotspur winger is inarguably the most potent threat for the Atlas Lions coming into this fixture. Running into vacant spaces and creating the play from midfield, the Moroccans will have to sort out some plan and defend 2 on 1 against him if they are to stop him from coming into action. Though he has had only one goal in the tournament so far, he will be looking forward to capitalising on a weak Moroccan defence who have some tired legs now and are suffering from injuries.

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