We’re down to the final four at the 2022 World Cup, and we’re down to the final four matchdays as well (two semifinals, today and tomorrow, third place on Saturday, final on Sunday). It feels like we just began this thing, and now we’re almost done! But perhaps we’ve saved the best and most dramatic for last.
We’re down to just two Chelsea players standing as well, and they could yet face each other this weekend. First up, Mateo Kovačić & Croatia.
ARGENTINA vs. CROATIA
Date / Time: Tuesday, December 13, 2022, 19.00 GMT; 2pm EST
Venue: Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail, Qatar
Referee: Daniele Orsato (Italy)
On TV: ITV 1 (UK); Fox, Telemundo (USA); elsewhere
Streaming online: ITV Hub (UK); FOX Sports Live, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA)
Chelsea interest: Kova’s the obvious Chelsea note in this one, though we’ve been recently linked with not only young stud center back Joško Gvardiol but Argentina right back Nahuel Molina as well.
Gvardiol has certainly been a key reason for Croatia getting this far — they’ve scored just six goals in their five games, four coming against Canada in one match; and they needed penalties to advance in each of the previous two rounds. Thei goalkeeper Dominik Livaković, who has also been the subject of a few rumor rumblings, has been absolutely outstanding and heroic as well.
Of course, and speaking of heroic, Lionel Messi seems to be on an absolute mission to add this major missing piece to his legacy and trophy cabinet; only Kylian Mbappé has scored more so far this tournament. Messi has scored in all but one of their five games to get to this point; and only a shock result against Saudi Arabia to start things off has seen Argentina score less than two goals overall They beat Australian and the Netherlands (on penalties) to get here.
Croatia beat Argentina 3-0 four years ago, in the group stages.