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Official: Lionel Messi starts for Argentina against Croatia; World Cup semi-finals



Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

The world will shift their attention to the Lusail Iconic Stadium in Qatar as Argentina gear up to take on Croatia in the first semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup. Luka Modric’s men played out of a 3-0 win the last time the two sides met in the group stages of the 2018 World Cup.

Argentina’s tea is much better this time around, with Lionel Scaloni lining up his men in what looks to be a 4-4-2.

Unquestionably, the man leading the team is Lionel Messi. The Argentine captain has four goals and two assists in five games across this tournament, and starts alongside Julian Alvarez for this game.

Rodrigo de Paul and Alexis Mac Allister will take responsibility of the wings on the right and left respectively, tucking inside to give more control to Croatia’s brilliant midfield three of Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic, and Mateo Kovacic.

The double-pivot features Leandro Paredes and Enzo Fernandez, who will be screening a back-four headlined by Nicolas Otamendi and Cristian Romero in central defence. Nicolas Tagliafico and Nahuel Molina cover for the suspended Gonzalo Montiel and Marcos Acuna as full-backs.

Emiliano Martinez starts in goal.

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