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FIFA World Cup 2018: 5 things to watch out for in Argentina vs Croatia

Swagat Das
Top 5 / Top 10
7.58K   //    21 Jun 2018, 02:45 IST

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A real battle between two teams is on the cards

The 2018 edition of FIFA World Cup has been a roller-coaster ride so far, with incorrect score-line predictions by pundits and unusual match results. Favourites like Argentina, Brazil and Spain managed to salvage just a draw in the first round of group-stage matches while defending champions Germany slumped to a defeat against Mexico.

Argentina were able to pick up just a single point in their opening game after World Cup debutants Iceland held their fort and forced La Albiceleste to settle for a draw. This has put Argentina's chances of qualifying for the next round in some serious jeopardy.

They dropped two easy points against minnows Iceland and face a stern test in their next two matches. Croatia would like to strangle Argentina and qualify for the next round by securing a win in the upcoming tie.

Here are five things one should watch out for in the hugely anticipated tie:

#5 The X-factor of Lionel Messi

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The talisman can steamroll opponents if he gets going

Lionel Messi is often considered by many football fans and experts as the G.O.A.T (Greatest of All Time). He only needs to add a World Cup to his cupboard that is already filled with multiple trophies and of course, five Ballon d'Ors.

However, Messi was man-marked very tightly by Iceland in the opening game of Argentina's WC2018 campaign. He took a total of 11 shots out of which only 3 were on target. To add to his misery, he missed a potentially match-winning penalty. Messi was repeatedly crowded out each time he was in possession of the ball and couldn't break the Icelandic defence.

But, the World Cup is far from over and the world is very much familiar with what Lionel Messi can do on his day. Lionel Messi is so good as a player that he can walk into any side on the planet and elevate the team to a different level. Argentina would need him to be at the peak of his powers if they wish to defeat Croatia.

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