Argentina Hoping to Erase Iceland Memories Against Confident Croatia

World Cup 2018

Argentina vs Croatia

Group D
Thursday, June 21st
Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod
Kick-off at 19:00 (7pm) GMT
Lionel Messi must be starting to think this World Cup thing may just not be for him after all following his spurned chance from penalty spot against Iceland in their opening Group D encounter at this summer’s tournament handed the Nordic nation their first-ever point. He will have the chance to silence his critics against Croatia on Thursday who got off to the ideal start with a 2-0 win over Nigeria.

Argentina Hoping to Erase Iceland Memories Against Confident Croatia

Argentina’s journey to the FIFA World Cup in Russia has been anything but a smooth or straightforward one. After coaxing their former captain out of retirement, Messi almost single-handedly dragged his nation to the finals when it seemed unlikely that they would be boarding the plane to Europe when push came to shove. A number of cancelled pre-tournament friendlies followed an embarrassing 6-1 demolition at the hands of 2010 World Champions Spain, with a 4-0 win over minnows Haiti ultimately being the sorry send-off for La Albiceleste who just four years ago were contesting the final on the world’s greatest stage.

Argentina recent results:

16/06/2018 – Argentina 1-1 Iceland
30/05/2018 – Argentina 4-0 Haiti
27/03/2018 – Spain 6-1 Argentina
23/03/2018 – Argentina 2-0 Italy
Croatia are competing at their fifth FIFA World Cup and Zlatko Dalic’s side will be hoping to replicate the success of Vatreni in France 1998 where they unexpectedly reached the semi-finals before ultimately losing out to the hosts and eventual winners, settling for third place after beating the Netherlands in the playoff match. Their preparations saw them take on the likes of Brazil and Senegal in anticipation for the challenges that lay before them in Group D and will be hoping to take that experience forward and capitalise against a wounded Argentina outfit. 

Argentina Hoping to Erase Iceland Memories Against Confident Croatia

Croatia recent results:

16/06/2018 – Croatia 2-0 Nigeria
08/06/2018 – Croatia 2-1 Senegal
03/06/2018 – Brazil 2-0 Croatia
28/03/2018 – Mexico 0-1 Croatia
The pair have faced each other just a handful of times over the last 24 years and Argentina were even in a group with them at the World Cup in that famous run in France ’98 inflicting a 1-0 win over the already qualified Croatians in the final game before the knockout rounds. Croatia’s sole victory over their more fancied South American opponents came in a friendly match in Switzerland in 2006 when Ivan Klasnic put his side in front inside three minutes only for Carlos Tevez and Leo Messi to score to put Argentina ahead with just six minutes on the clock. Second-half goals from the now retired and most capped Croatian Dario Srna as well as from Dario Simic helped complete the remarkable turnaround.
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Argentina vs Croatia head-to-head:

Played: 4
Argentina Wins: 2
Draws: 1
Croatia Wins: 1

Argentina vs Croatia results:

12/11/2014 – Argentina 2-1 Croatia
01/03/2006 – Croatia 3-2 Argentina
26/06/1998 – Argentina 1-0 Croatia
04/06/1994 – Croatia 0-0 Argentina

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Published: 06/20/2018