Croatia at the Education City Stadium. The winners of the tie will face either Netherlands or Argentina in the first semi-finals.
The Checkered Ones triumphed in the penalty shoot-out against Japan while Brazil outclassed South Korea 4-1 in the round of 16 stages.
CRO vs BRA Match Details
Date: Saturday, 09 December 2022
Time: 18:00 (AST) / 20:30 (IST)
Venue: Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
CRO vs BRA Match Preview
It was another instance for Croatia where they looked second-best in this competition yet got the job done. Zlatko Dalic’s side seemed to be struggling against Japan’s fearlessness going down in the second half with Daizen Maeda scoring for the Blue Samurais. Japan looked like a real threat with confidence from their historical wins over Germany and Spain in the group stages. They almost had Croatia on the ropes but Ivan Perisic’s equalizer five minutes after the break gave the European nation a foothold in the game. With both sides spurning chances in the extra time after it ended 1-1, penalties became inevitable. Goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic saved three Japanese spot-kicks there to send the 2018 World Cup finalists through to the quarterfinals. Their experience in tie-breaker worked out again. After all, they have triumphed in the last three penalty shootouts and have taken the game to extra time in seven of the last eight games in major competitions. The exception was the 4-2 loss to France in the last edition’s final that ended in normal time. Croatia are also unbeaten in the last 10 games and wishes to maintain if they want to place themselves among the last four in the contest. Definitely, they face an enormous task in Brazil in the quarterfinals to make it happen. Dalic’s side has won only once in this competition, a 4-1 success against Canada in the group stages while games against Morocco, Belgium and Japan have ended in a draw in normal time. Clogging Brazil’s front four for the 90 minutes is a difficult job they want to take to force another extra time, a period of the game that has worked in their favor. The worry will be their winless record against Brazil and their inefficiency to secure victory against South American nations on the World Cup stage. The only win for them in the last five such meetings was the 3-0 battering of Argentina four years back.
Brazil showed that their first loss against an African nation in the World Cup with a rearranged side was nothing more than a fluke. A 4-1 thrashing of South Korea followed in the clash in the last 16 after the 1-0 defeat to Cameroon in the last group game. Richarlison got on the scoresheet for the third time in his first World Cup with Neymar, Vinicius Jr and Lucas Paqueta joining the party. Paik Seung-ho’s wonder strike in the second half did little damage than cancelling the clean sheet as the Selecao enter the last eight comfortably. The victory showed that Brazil can bring creativity while maintaining its structure flushing out any criticism of it and looking to take it as far as possible in the competition. Tite’s men are adamant to keep doing their samba dance in the quarterfinals with Croatia the next barrier to break. The Croats have shown their resistance even in difficult situations, showing their impetus in shoot-outs in stopping the opposition. Brazil certainly will not be in favor to drag the game for long and finish it in normal time. After all, the front four are in sparkling form to do the business early even against teams trusted with solid defense. However, facing a European nation in the knockouts has been a dilemma for the most talented squads after the 2002 World Cup the year they last lifted the trophy. Brazil have lost each of their last five such meetings with the 2-1 loss to Belgium at this stage four year back still fresh in the memories. The Red Devils were a talented outfit but considering the royalty in the competition, the elimination did not go down well. Tite managed to keep his job after that and said to have learnt from the experience. He now wishes to be on the other side of the coin against a relatively talented Croatian squad this time around. Although, the Selecao have been knocked out at the quarter-final stage in three of the last four World Cups.
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CRO vs BRA Team News
Croatia missed the full-back duo of Josip Stanisic and Borna Sosa for the game against Japan in the last 16 stages. Stanisic suffered a muscular problem while the Stuttgart player’s absence due to illness was significant. In his place, Borna Barisic started in the left-back position. Sosa is expected to reclaim his place after recovering although doubts remain about his opposite companion’s availability for this clash. Josip Juranovic is set to start at right-back in the defense regardless. The Croats still have issues on the forward line with neither Bruno Petkovic, Marko Livaja nor Ante Budimir looking convincing in the number nine shirt but the former continues to start.
Brazil already lost the pair of Alex Telles and Gabriel Jesus in the game against Cameroon in the last group stage game through injuries with both ruled out for the rest of the tournament. The Arsenal man underwent a successful knee injury and he will not be involved in action for at least three months. Tite also revealed that Alex Sandro is unlikely to feature for Friday with a hip injury so Danilo continues to perform the makeshift left-back role.
CRO vs BRA Predicted Lineups
CRO: Dominik Livakovic; Josip Juranovic, Dejan Lovren, Josko Gvardiol, Borna Sosa; Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic, Mateo Kovacic; Andrej Kramaric, Bruno Petkovic, Ivan Perisic
BRA: Alisson; Militao, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Danilo; Lucas Paqueta, Casemiro; Raphinha, Neymar, Vinicius Jr; Richarlison
CRO vs BRA Dream11 Team Prediction
GK: Alisson (7)
DEF: Marquinhos (8), Lovren (8.5), T Silva (8.5), Gvardiol (9)
MID: Neymar (9), Paqueta (7.5), Modric (9), Perisic (9)
FW: Richarlison (9), Vinicius Jr (8.5)