Lionel Messi Set To Equal World Cup Record In Argentina’s Semi-final vs Croatia


Lionel Messi will be the captain of Argentina in the semi-final.© AFP

Argentina star Lionel Messi He equaled Lothar Matthäus’ record for most World Cup appearances with his 25th start in Tuesday’s semi-final against Croatia. Midfielder Leandro Paredes and defenders Nicholas Tagliafico was brought into Argentina’s starting line-up. Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni drafted in Tagliafico to replace the suspended left-back. Marcos Acuna And Paredes took over at centre-half Lysander Martinez. The switch means Argentina are likely to revert to a back four instead of the five-man defense they used in the penalty shoot-out win over the Netherlands, with advanced wing-backs.

Scaloni stuck to the same forward line he managed against the Dutch, with Messi playing behind Julian Alvarez. Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic has named an unchanged team that beat Brazil on penalties in the last eight. Andrej Kramrik Started as a central striker.

Forward Bruno Petkovic, whose goal late in extra time forced the game into a penalty shoot-out, started again on the bench.

Starting Line Up:

Argentina (4-4-2)- Emiliano Martinez; Nahuel Molina, Christian Romero, Nicolas Otamendi, Nicholas Tagliafico; Rodrigo by Paul Leandro ParedesEnzo Fernandez, Alexis McAllister; Lionel Messi (captain), Julian Alvarez

Coach: Lionel Scaloni (ARG)

Croatia (4-3-3)- Dominic Livakovic; Josip Juranovic, Dejan LovrenJosko Guardiol, Borna Sosa; Luke Modric (Captain), Marcelo Brzovic, Matthew Kovacic; mario Pasalic, Andrzej Kramaric, Ivan Perisic

Coach: Zlatko Dalic (CRO)

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