Croatia vs. Morocco – 2022 World Cup third-place play-off: match preview

  • vs Morocco – 2022 World Cup third-place play-off: Team news, possible lineups & prediction.

Croatia vs. Morocco - 2022 World Cup third-place play-off: match preview
vs. Morocco – 2022 World Cup third-place play-off: match preview

In the third-place playoff on Saturday at the Khalifa Stadium, a World Cup 2022 bronze medal is on the line between and Morocco, and neither team should turn their back on a podium finish on the biggest stage.

The 2018 finalists lost to Argentina 3-0 on Tuesday, preventing them from participating in the title bout in Qatar. Although Morocco put up a good fight, they had trouble turning their pressure into chances, much alone goals, against France.

After losing their semifinal fixtures, and Morocco will square off against each other to claim third place in the World Cup 2022 on Saturday, December 17 at the Khalifa International.

Nevertheless, Morocco has guaranteed themselves a spot in World Cup history as the first-ever African semifinalist team, and they still have a chance to finish their Qatar campaign on a winning note.

Just a few weeks after their goalless draw in Group F, where the Checkered Ones were limited to just five shots against Regragui’s backline, and Morocco will once again square off. A similarly tenacious defensive performance might propel the Africans to a historic World Cup victory.

  • Team News:

Croatia’s semi-final loss to Argentina was already marred by injury when midfield fulcrum Marcelo Brozovic withdrew in the 50th minute owing to discomfort and is now seen as a serious doubt for the third-place playoff.

Dalic has vowed to not risk any player who is not 100 per cent healthy, so Lovro Majer and Kristijan Jakic should be ready to step in for Brozovic in the middle if necessary. Twenty-year-old centre-back Gvardiol needs injections to play despite the pain of a foot injury in the middle of the week.

Gvardiol might be replaced by Josip Sutalo, a different highly regarded centre defender, while Ivan Perisic, a Tottenham Hotspur player who is now tied with Davor Suker in World Cup goals scored with six each, should keep his position on the left.


For Morocco’s semi-final, Regragui unexpectedly managed to get all of Aguerd, Mazraoui, and Saiss back, but the injured trio withdrew one at a time — in Aguerd’s case, shortly before the game started.

Despite the fact that the severity of Saiss‘ and Mazraoui’s injuries are now unknown, both players were taken off the field after 20 minutes after being outpaced by Olivier Giroud. Mazraoui also left the field at halftime, leaving Regragui where he had started.

A return to a 4-3-3 may be necessary as Yahia Attiyat Allah and Selim Amallah attempt to regain their starting positions because Regragui is unlikely to risk either of the trio members for Saturday’s game.

  • Possible Lineup:

Croatia’s possible starting lineup:
Livakovic; Juranovic, Lovren, Sutalo, Sosa; Modric, Jakic, Kovacic; Vlasic, Kramaric, Perisic

Morocco’s possible starting lineup:
Bono; Hakimi, El-Yamiq, Dari, Attiyat-Allah; Ounahi, Amrabat, Amallah; Ziyech, En-Nesyri, Boufal

  • Score prediction:

The World Cup matchup between the two teams’ opponents will be their first-round opponent. The two teams battled to a scoreless draw in Group F during the murky months of November. Regragui was delighted with the cool, collected performance his team put on while the Croatian team confidently intimated that they could have won if they had taken more chances.

The two nations will be challenged for the top spot despite having the advantage of weakened ranks.

Prediction: 1-1 Morocco (Penalty will decide the winner).

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