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World Cup day 20 betting tips round up: Argentina vs Croatia

Argentina vs Croatia

Read more: Argentina vs Croatia betting tips: Preview, predictions, team news and odds


The first of this year’s World Cup semi-finals sees Argentina, seeking to reach their sixth final, face Croatia, who are aiming to get there back-to-back.

Many were hoping that this game would be a Superclásico de las Américas, but Croatia were more than happy to shatter those dreams.

On Friday, Zlatko Dalić’s team dumped out Brazil, forcing penalties thanks to Bruno Petković’s 117th minute equaliser.

Dominik Livaković denied Rodrygo from 12 yards so, with Croatia converting all four of their spot-kicks, when Marquinhos hit the post, the upset was complete.

Eight of the Blazers’ nine knockout matches this century have gone to extra time, the sole exception being the 2018 final.

So, Argentina should be prepared to go the distance, as they did in their own quarter-final clash with Netherlands.

In their shootouts, it was a tale of two Martínezs; Emi made two saves, before Lautaro cooly converted the crucial kick.

So, the reigning Copa América and Finalissima winners are now just two games away from lifting the silverware they truly crave.

These two have met twice before at World Cups; Argentina won 1-0 at France ‘98, with Croatia running out 3-0 winners four years ago.

Expect there to be very little between the teams at Lusail Iconic Stadium.

Secondary tip of the day


The 16 World Cup semi-finals played since Mexico ‘86 have produced just 36 goals, a figure that falls to 28, 1.75 goals per game, if Germany’s demolition of Brazil is excluded.

Ten of these matches have been goalless at the break, including Argentina’s most-recent semi in 2014.

At this tournament, Argentina’s five first halves have produced just three goals, all of which they have scored.

In total, Croatia’s five games have produced nine goals, five of which came in their group stage hammering of Canada.

So, backing a goalless opening 45 at 6/5 could represent good value.

Goalscorer tip of the day


It’s not exactly bold to back Lionel Messi to score, but, as each day goes by, it’s starting to feel as though this will be his tournament isn’t it?

He’d actually never scored in the World Cup knockout stages before, but has netted against both Australia and Netherlands in Qatar.

Also, two of his 95 international goals have come against Croatia, scoring in Basel in 2006, his very first for Argentina, and then at the Boleyn Ground eight years ago.

In a game of fine margins, Messi could well be the difference maker.


Picture of Ben Gray

Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".

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