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Fifa World cup

Predicting how Croatia vs Morocco will play out at the World Cup

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Croatia fell short of an impressive second straight run to the World Cup final this week, while ultimate underdog Morocco also ran out of magic in the semis. Now, the nations meet in the tiebreaker for third place.

Croatia, runners-up to France at Russia 2018, were outclassed in a 3-0 defeat by Lionel Messi’s Argentina on Tuesday before the defending champions defeated Morocco 2-0 on Wednesday.

However, Morocco have secured their place in history as the first ever African World Cup semi-finalists, and they still have a chance to cap off their Qatar campaign with a win.

However, Croatia will end on a positive note, three weeks after drawing 0-0 with the Atlas Lions in the group stage.

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Here is everything you need to know.

When is?

The third place playoff will begin at 15:00 GMT (18:00 local time) on Saturday, December 17.

The match will take place at the Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan.

How can I see it?

Croatia vs Morocco will be broadcast live on BBC One in the UK, and streamed live on the broadcaster’s website and iPlayer app.

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What’s the team news?

Marcelo Brozovic was sent off through injury during Croatia’s clash with Argentina, and the midfielder is an injury doubt here. The same can be said of central defender Josep Gvardiol, who was not in full health for that game and can rest here to avoid further injury.

See also  Who is the referee in charge of France vs Morocco?

Romain Saiss (left) was sent off injured for Morocco against France

(Reuters)

For Morocco, three players took a chance in defeat to France despite fitness concerns, although Nayef Aguerd actually withdrew just before kick-off, and defenders Romain Saiss and Noussair Mazraoui failed to complete the game. As such, all three are expected to be lost here.

Predicted Lineups

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Croatia XI: Livakovic; Juranovic, Lovren, Sutalo, Sosa; Modric, Jakic, Kovacic; Vlasic, Kramaric, Perisic

Morocco XI: Bounou; Hakimi, El-Jamiq, Dari, Attiyat Allah; Ounahi, Amrabat, Amallah; Ziech, En-Nesyri, Boufal

Odds

Croatia – 8/11

Morocco – 2/1

Draw – 5/12

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Via Betfair.

Prediction

As good as Morocco was against France, they appeared to be 30 per cent below their best due to a combination of fatigue and injury. Plus, a near-complete Croatia squad will have had an extra day to recover from their semi-final when this game takes place. Unfortunately for fans of the ultimate underdogs, Morocco might have used all their magic in this tournament. Croatia 1-0 Morocco.

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