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Croatia vs Morocco: Modric’s Swan Song vs an Incredible Run

December 16, 2022
by Christian.R.B

Table of Contents

If Croatia vs Morocco were the World Cup final, the entire footballing world would be in a huge uproar. These two sides would have defied great odds and fantastic teams to reach the semifinal. They only fell to the deserved winners who overpowered them with sheer class.

While this is the third-place match, there is still great football to be played. Fans of both nations will look back on this tournament fondly. Moreover, the stars who played for these two sides will see better prospects for their careers moving forward.

OKBET fans will find plenty of things to love in the 2022 World Cup’s penultimate match. There are plenty of stories to follow ahead of this contest, and each one will make the game a must-watch for fans who love the Beautiful Game.

Morocco: Capping a Historic World Cup in Style

The fact that the Atlas Lions made it to the semifinal was a fairy tale for the African nation and its fans. Morocco was the first African nation to make it into the prestigious competition’s semifinals since Egypt made their landmark appearance in the 1934 World Cup.

They weren’t supposed to make it to the semis in the first place. Walid Regragui was named the team’s head coach only three months before the tournament began. They were pitted against Croatia and Belgium in Group F. While they had recognizable names in the squad, the team didn’t have a household name who would carry them far into the knockout stages.

However, they defied all logic to make a deep run that brought great pride to Arabs worldwide. They stomped underdogs Canada and a middling Belgium team before drawing with their third-place opponents to top their group.

They had to play Spain during the first knockout round. La Furia Roja were favorites to progress due to their talented players and propensity for attacking football. However, the Atlas Lions forced Spain into a penalty shootout they won thanks to Yassine Bounou’s heroics.

Portugal was up next after their neighbors. While the Selecao das Quinas had quality players in attack and defense, they fell short against a rampaging Morocco.

Morocco’s fairy-tale run may have ended in the semifinal, but they have the quality and form to finish on a high. With players like Bounou, Achraf Hakimi, Hakim Ziyech, and Youssef En-Nesyri in fine form, they’re capable of inflicting damage on the Croatian defense.

OKBET Croatia vs Morocco

Croatia: Sending Modric Off With a Smile

Luka Modric will finish his career as one of the best midfielders in history, so it’s a shame for the Vatreni that he’s ending his stellar World Cup career on quite a sour note.

They fell short against Argentina because they didn’t have a definite creative force in the midfield who could craft chances out of thin air. The 37-year-old is past his physical prime to make a more significant impact on the game.

Modric isn’t the only player who may also be playing his final World Cup match. Ivan Perisic is at the end of his physical prime and won’t likely have the burst to make a meaningful impact in the 2026 World Cup.

Other key players, such as Dejan Lovren, Mateo Kovacic, Marcelo Brozovic, and Borna Barisic, are also approaching the final years of their physical prime. While they can still possibly compete in the 2026 World Cup, this was the best opportunity for Croatia to win the Coupe du Monde.

However, this is still a chance for Zlatko Dalic to send off the best midfielder Croatia ever produced with a smile. Dominik Livakovic is arguably the best goalkeeper in the World Cup and will do his best to stop any attacks from pushing through. Josko Gvardiol is Croatia’s future in the backline and will look to redeem his terrible showing against Argentina.

They face another tough test in Morocco. However, they should have the quality to make it a game worth watching and, maybe, one they would win.

Croatia vs Morocco Predictions

Given how defensive these teams played throughout this World Cup, it’s easy to think that this match would end in penalties. However, both teams scored at least 80% of their goals in open play. We should see at least one goal from both of these beloved underdogs.

Modric’s sheer class might be just what the Vatreni need to propel them past the Atlas Lions. They arguably have the better midfield of the two, and their rigid formation should prevent any probing Moroccan from getting one under them. Modric should be able to finish his final World Cup with a 1-0 win.

However, Morocco also have the quality to give Qatar one more reason to smile. It’s easy to imagine either Hakimi, Ziyech, or En-Nesyri breaking away from the Croatian backline and concluding their World Cup campaign with yet another giant-killing, this time to the tune of 3-2.

Croatia vs Morocco Betting Odds

The sports bookies of OKBET understandably pin the advantage on the 2018 World Cup runners-up. But if there’s anything Morocco showcased to people who followed this contest, it is that they should never be counted out.

1X2HandicapGoals O/U @ 2.51×2 HalfHandicap HalfGoals O/U Half @ 1

The 1X2 market gives the edge to Croatia, likely due to the gulf in quality the Vatreni’s midfield have over their opponents. The handicap market is also providing a slight edge to Croatia, but Morocco should make things interesting in this department.

The Over/Under market is predicting a low-scoring affair where either a penalty shootout or a 2-0 victory for the Vatreni. The first-half odds also point to Croatia scoring the half’s only goal.

If you’re looking for a great punt, Over 1 Goal in the Over/Under 1st Half market is a great shout. Both sides will want to come out of the gates swinging. Defense will be slightly compromised for more exciting football.

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