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Argentina vs. Croatia Betting Tips: Cards on the menu in semi-final clash

Arg Cro Gen

Argentina face Croatia in a World Cup semi-final on Tuesday evening and our man Scott Thornton has previewed the action and provided us with his best bets.

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Argentina vs Croatia Odds

Croatia stunned Brazil in extra-time in their last match. Now Argentina stand in their way of making it to consecutive World Cup finals.

The narrative around the Argentines this tournament has all been about Lionel Messi. Messi is regarded as one of the greatest players to ever play the game. Leading his country to glory and following in the footsteps of Diego Maradona would cement his place as the greatest for many.

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Argentina overcame Netherlands in a penalty shootout. They looked to be coasting to victory before a late double-salvo from Weghorst forced the game to extra time. Louis Van Gaal resorted to playing long balls up to the big man after being dominated for much of the match.

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Croatia also won a penalty shootout. They fought back in extra time after an exceptional Neymar goal put them on the brink of elimination. They are coming into this match as underdogs yet again but they will take confidence from knocking out the pre-tournament favourites.

These sides are the last two beaten finalists at this tournament. France beat Croatia 4-2 in 2018. While Argentina were beaten 1-0 by Germany in 2014.

Argentina vs Croatia Tips

World Cup Odds
Under 2.5 Goals & Over 3.5 Cards
6/5
Odds correct as of 2022-12-12 10:35 Odds subject to change.

Croatia will look to keep things tight early on. However, they have a lot of quality in midfield and are capable of retaining possession for extended periods to relieve pressure on their defence. They are averaging 53.6% possession this tournament and had 51% possession against Brazil in the last round. So don’t expect this to be a case of attack versus defence.

Dalic’s are defensively sound and have proven adept at upsetting their opponents rhythm. They have conceded just 2 goals in their 5 matches this tournament. They have also only scored in 2 of those matches. Expect another low scoring affair on Tuesday. They will look to remain compact and limit the space that Messi has to operate.

Argentina’s matches have been much more goal friendly with 3 of their 5 matches this tournament seeing 3 goals or more. However, this should be a much cagier affair. Croatia beat the Argentines 3-0 at the last World Cup but Scaloni’s men are a much stronger outfit.

The last meeting saw 7 yellow cards awarded. This match looks primed for cards after Argentina’s feisty encounter with the Netherlands. 16 yellows and 1 red card were handed out by Lahoz in that game. Another prolific referee takes charge here. Daniele Orsato has refereed 2 World Cup matches so far. He handed out 6 cards in Qatar vs Ecuador and 5 cards in Mexico vs Argentina.

Argentina’s matches at this tournament are averaging 5.2 cards per game (this doesn’t include the players who were carded on the bench or during the shootout against the Dutch). Croatia’s last match against Brazil saw 4 cards and the high stakes nature of this one should mean we see plenty of cards again. Yellow cards have also been wiped; meaning that no players will be suspended for the final with a yellow card here.

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Argentina vs Croatia Odds
Under 1.5 Goals, Over 4.5 Cards & Croatia Most Cards
10/1
Odds correct as of 2022-12-12 10:40 Odds subject to change.

For the longer odds bet, we are going to take the same angles as the main bet. Under 1.5 goals has every chance here. Those hoping for an end-to-end, goal laden semi-final look set to be disappointed. 3 of Croatia’s matches this tournament have finished 0-0 and they would likely take another penalty shootout against Argentina.

Argentina’s opponents are averaging 2 more cards per game than the South American side. (only players booked when they are active in the field of play). As previously mentioned, this game has the potential to see a whole host of cards so 5 is manageable for this bet. The Argentines have a number of skilful players and they will be able to force fouls from the Croatians.

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