Thursday 21 Jun

Argentina vs Croatia - Match Preview

21 Jun 2018 Tampines -Tanjong Pagar INTERNATIONAL: World Cup, Group D


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18:00 GMT
21 June 2018


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18:00 GMT 21 June 2018

After four years of waiting, the 2018 World Cup is finally in full flow and it has been incredible so far. The last of the three games on Thursday brings two of the teams in Group D together as Argentina and Croatia meet at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.


  • The biggest shock of the opening round of fixtures involved Argentina as they were unbelievably held to a 1-1 draw with World Cup debutants, Iceland. It means that they must bounce back with a win to reinstate their status as favourites to top Group D. This match will be a tougher test than Iceland so the Argentinians need to be on their guards.
  • Croatia began their World Cup campaign with a comfortable 2-0 win over a disorganised Nigeria side on Saturday night. Another victory would see the group leaders confirm their place in the knockout stage but the potential for mistakes needs ironing out before the clash on Thursday.
  • Many people’s favourite to light up this tournament, Lionel Messi, had 11 shots (including a penalty) against Iceland and failed to score. He’s expected to return to form and is still Argentina’s main threat.
  • Croatia’s goals against Nigeria came from an own goal and a converted Luka Modric penalty so they’ll be hoping to add a goal from open play to their list this summer.


This won’t be the first time that these two nations have faced on the biggest stage of all. The previous meeting came in the group stages of the 1998 World Cup where Croatia ended up finishing 3rd despite being beaten 1-0 by Argentina in their final group fixture. It was the South Americans who came out on top when they last faced in 2014, winning 2-1 courtesy of Messi’s winning penalty.


It’s important for Argentina to pick up their first win of the tournament on Thursday evening. The one expected change from the side that drew with Iceland is that Cristian Pavon may start following his positive impact off the bench.

Latest matches: Argentina

16.06.2018 Worl Argentina Iceland 1:1 D
29.05.2018 Inte Argentina Haiti 4:0 W
27.03.2018 Inte Spain Argentina 6:1 L
23.03.2018 Inte Argentina Italy 2:0 W
14.11.2017 Inte Nigeria Argentina 4:2 L


One of the big stories of the World Cup last week was that the Croatian forward, Nikola Kalinic, has been sent home after reportedly refusing to come on from the bench in the dying minutes of their win over Nigeria. Zlatko Dalic has confirmed he will make changes.

Latest matches: Croatia

16.06.2018 Worl Croatia Nigeria 2:0 W
08.06.2018 Inte Croatia Senegal 2:1 W
03.06.2018 Inte Brazil Croatia 2:0 L
03.06.2018 Inte Croatia Brazil 0:2 L
28.03.2018 Inte Mexico Croatia 0:1 W


With the sheer quality of the players in their squad, Argentina are seen by most as favourites to win their second group match. However, Croatia are considered as a serious dark horse by several pundits and their sense of unity may overcome the big names in the opposing starting XI. It is poised to be a very close game and could turn out to be one of the best of the tournament.

About the author - Tampines -Tanjong Pagar

  1. Tampines: Tampines Football Club, also known as Tampines Rovers, is a professional soccer team based in Singapore. They compete in the Singapore Premier League (SPL) and have a rich history in Singaporean football. Here are some key points to consider about Tampines:


  • Experienced Squad: Tampines Rovers have a good mix of experienced players who bring a wealth of knowledge and skill to the team.
  • Strong Attack: The team boasts several talented attacking players who are capable of creating scoring opportunities and finding the back of the net.
  • Consistent Performers: Tampines Rovers have been consistently competitive in the SPL, often finishing near the top of the league table.


  • Defensive Vulnerabilities: At times, Tampines Rovers have shown vulnerabilities in their defense, which can lead to conceding goals.
  • Inconsistency: While they have had successful campaigns in the past, there have been instances where they struggled to maintain a consistent performance level.
  1. Tanjong Pagar: Tanjong Pagar United Football Club is another Singaporean soccer team that participates in the Singapore Premier League. After a hiatus, they made a return to the league in recent years. Here's an assessment of Tanjong Pagar:


  • Resurgence: After their return to the SPL, Tanjong Pagar has shown resilience and determination to re-establish themselves as a competitive team.
  • Young Talent: The team has invested in young players, giving them opportunities to develop and showcase their abilities.
  • Fighting Spirit: Tanjong Pagar has displayed a never-give-up attitude, often putting up spirited performances even against stronger opponents.


  • Limited Squad Depth: Tanjong Pagar may face challenges due to a relatively smaller squad and fewer resources compared to some other teams in the league.
  • Defensive Fragility: The team has struggled with defensive solidity at times, leading to conceding goals more frequently.

Overall, Tampines Rovers have a stronger track record and a more established presence in the Singapore Premier League. They possess experienced players and have a history of competitive performances. On the other hand, Tanjong Pagar is a team that has been rebuilding and showing signs of progress. While they may face challenges, they have displayed resilience and a commitment to improvement.

It's important to note that soccer teams' performance can vary over time, so it's always a good idea to keep up with the latest news and updates on their progress.

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