Croatia vs Brazil: QuarterFinal Battle of FIFA Worlcup 2022 Qatar

Croatia vs Brazil: Brazil will make an effort to maintain their chances of winning a record-extending sixth world championship when they square off with Croatia in the 2022 World Cup quarterfinals on Friday at Education City Stadium.

While the Checkered Ones were pushed all the way by Japan before advancing on penalties, the Selecao sent a message to the rest of the tournament when they easily defeated South Korea in the round of 16.

After defeating Japan 3-1 on penalties in the last 16 on Monday, Croatia will play on the largest international stage in the quarterfinals for the second time in a row and for the third time in their history.

Daizen Maeda’s first-half goal was cancelled out by Ivan Perisic, forcing extra time and then penalties. The Checkered Ones won the shootout thanks to Dominik Livakovic, who saved three of Japan’s four attempts, and helped Zlatko Dalic’s team advance to the round of eight.

Since finishing third at their first World Cup finals back in 1998, Croatia has been involved in seven of their last eight knockout games at major tournaments, so they are no strangers to drama at the highest level of international football.

Croatia vs Brazil
Croatia vs Brazil

Croatia’s last five World Cup knockout games have gone to extra time in four of those games, and three of those victories have come on penalties. Only Croatia’s 4-2 loss to France in the 2018 final was decided after 90 minutes during this stretch.

Dalic and company have lost just one of their last 20 games in all competitions since Euro 2020, and they are unbeaten in their last ten international matches. However, this impressive run is about to be put to the test by a hot Brazilian team that is coming off of their best performance at this year’s tournament in Qatar against South Korea.

Tite’s team sambaed their way into the quarterfinals on Monday thanks to a 4-1 victory over South Korea in the last 16. The Brazilian flair and swagger that football fans around the world are used to seeing when watching the five-time world champions were on display.

Croatia vs Brazil
Croatia vs Brazil

Vinicius Junior, Neymar, Richarlison, and Lucas Paqueta all scored for the Selecao in the opening 36 minutes as they quickly built a four-goal advantage. In the final 15 minutes, a stunning consolation goal from Paik Seung-ho gave the South Korean fans something to cheer about.

Richarlison had already scored a goal that was a strong candidate for goal of the tournament during the group stage, but he now has two after capping off an outrageously skillful team goal that epitomises Brazilian football and demonstrates why Tite’s team has the qualifications to advance in Qatar.

Brazil is currently brimming with confidence and gearing up for their eighth consecutive World Cup quarterfinal, but they will be cautious given their recent history in this stage of the campaign. In three of the previous four World Cups, the Selecao was eliminated in the quarterfinals after losing to the European trio of France, Netherlands, and Belgium in 2006, 2010, and 2018, respectively.

Brazil has dropped each of their last five knockout games against European teams since defeating Germany 2-0 in the 2002 World Cup final. The Seleção have faced Croatia four times before, but have never conceded defeat. Additionally, their 1-0 group-stage loss to Cameroon last week was their only loss in their previous 19 matches, which is encouraging going into Friday’s match.

Due to illness and a muscle injury, Borna Sosa and Josip Stanisic of Croatia missed their team’s victory over Japan. The former should be able to play and could take Borna Barisic’s place at left-back, while the latter is still questionable and will be evaluated before kickoff.

Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic, and Mateo Kovacic, three midfield masters who, along with Barisic and Dejan Lovren, are just one caution away from suspension, are all expected to keep their spots in Dalic’s starting lineup on Friday.

Indeed, Lovren and iconic starlet Josco Guardiola will continue their defensive partnership, while Marko Livaja and Ante Budimir compete to replace Bruno Petkovic as central striker. On the flanks, Perisic and Lady Kramarik prepare to start again.

Brazil will be without Gabriel Jesus and Alex Telles for the remainder of the World Cup due to knee injuries, and Alex Sandro is questionable due to a hip issue.

After missing the last two matches, the 31-year-old has been working out on his own with the team’s physical trainer. If the Juventus teammate is not deemed fit to start, Danilo will likely take his place at left-back, joining Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, and Eder Militao in the back four.

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Three Selecao players, including Militão, Fred and Bruno Guimarães, are only one caution away from a potential semifinal match. The latter two are anticipated to start again on the bench as Tite prefers Casemiro and Paqueta to start in centre midfield.

Croatia vs Brazil fifa worldcup: Star forward Neymar is expected to remain in an advanced role on the wing between Rafinha and Vinicius Júnior, while Richardson is expected to lead the team an ankle injury to start and score against South Korea.

Livakovic, Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa, Kovacic, Brozovic, Modric, Kramaric, Petkovic, and Perisic might be Croatia’s starting lineup.

Alisson, Militao, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Danilo, Casemiro, Paqueta, Raphinha, Neymar, Vinicius Jr., and Richarlison might be Brazil’s starting lineup.

Croatia vs Brazil: Brazil is bursting with confidence after easily defeating South Korea in the round of 16, but Friday’s game might not be a stroll in the park against a country of Croatia’s calibre given their history in the knockout stages.

Although Brazil could be a step too far for Croatia, who have defeated many opponents on the biggest international stage, we can see the five-time world champions easing their way through to the semi-finals in 90 minutes.

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