Date: December 9, 2022
Time: 08:30 PM IST
Venue: Education City Stadium, Qatar
Live Updates: SportsTiger App
Brazil eased into the quarterfinals after registering a dominant win over South Korea in their Round of 16 clash. The South American side scored 4 goals all within the first 40 minutes to completely push their opponents to the backfoot. Paik Seung-ho did pull one back in the 76th minute but it was only delaying the inevitable as Brazil stomped into the final 8.
For Croatia, it wasn't that easy as they came back from behind to win in the penalties against Japan. They conceded a goal in the dying minutes of the first half before equalising and then their goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic became the nation's hero as he saved three penalties in the shootout to take the team into the quarterfinals.
All in all, this promises to be an exciting fixture with a place in the semifinal at stake.
Croatia's Mateo Kovacic was subbed off in the match against Japan which suggests that he could be carrying an injury. Luka Modric although subbed off, does not seem to be carrying an injury. Borna Sosa did miss out on the round of 16 match with an illness but could be fit in time for this game.
For Brazil, Gabriel Jesus and Alex Telles have been ruled out with injuries. There are no fresh injury concerns reported.
Brazil have made it thus far based on their brand of attacking football. They showed exactly that in their Round of 16 game against South Korea where they literally tore their opposition apart with multiple of their players leaving everyone impressed with their performance. Even talismanic forward Neymar Jr made his comeback count. The team looks like they are peaking at the right time which is enough to ring a warning bell for their opponents.
Croatia, meanwhile, have just about made it to this round. They are the runners-up of the 2018 edition of the tournament and as one would recall even in that tournament, they had not won any of their knockout fixtures in the 90 minutes. This suggests they do not necessarily like the opposition scoring 1-2 goals early against them, even if they have come back from behind to win 2 games in this edition of the tournament.
Probable Starting XIs:
Croatia: Livakovic (GK), Lovren, Barisic, Juranovic, Gvardiol, Modric, Perisic, Brozovic, Kovacic, Kramaric, Pasalic
Brazil: Alisson (GK), Silva, Danilo, Marquinhos, Militao, Casemiro, Paqueta, Neymar, Richarlison, Raphinha, Junior
Brazil entered this tournament as among the favourites to lift the trophy and seem to take their performance up by a notch with every passing game. This makes them the likely team to win this contest and enter the semifinals.
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