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Modric starts as Croatia battle Morocco for FIFA bronze medal

By Jide Olusola in Qatar Croatia captain, Luka Modric will earn his 162nd game for his country as he leads his team ahead of today’s…

By Jide Olusola in Qatar

Croatia captain, Luka Modric will earn his 162nd game for his country as he leads his team ahead of today’s game against Morocco.

Both Croatia and Morocco have a chance to win the bronze medal at the World Cup 2022 in the third-place playoff at the Khalifa International Stadium.

Argentina comfortably defeated Zlatko Dalic’s side 3-0 in their semi-final, while the Atlas Lions fought courageously against France but were defeated by two goals to zero.

But the fact Croatia – who clinched bronze at the 1998 World Cup – were in the 2018 final does not diminish the achievement of potentially finishing third here for coach Zlatko Dalic.

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“We are sad and disappointed, but we have to gather energy to come back and be ready for the next fight for bronze.

“Morocco is the biggest surprise of the World Cup. They’ve got national backing, unity, and compactness. They knocked out Belgium, Spain and Portugal. They deserve all the respect,” he said.

The Atlas Lions need just one more shutout to become just the eighth team in tournament history to keep five clean sheets in a single World Cup.

Walid Regragui said his team wanted to finish third, but he also acknowledged that they had already accomplished a portion of their task by being the first African team to reach the World Cup semifinals.

“I will give opportunities to those who did not participate, and we will try to clinch the third place. My players gave everything and they’ve gone as far as they could. I really wanted to rewrite the history books, but you can’t win a World Cup with miracles, you need to do it through hard work,” Regragui told reporters.

Dalic is expected to drop Marcelo Brozovic’s due to his injury while Luka Modric might get a break.

Kovacic is undoubtedly the most likely to start because all three of their usual midfielders are unlikely to be included in the starting lineup.

Kovacic was one of Croatia’s top players. He competed in 15 duels, winning 10, and tried six dribbles, completing four of them.

Again, Regragui will change his team slightly, making it difficult to predict who will play. Due to injury, captain Romain Saiss will be questionable but he has hinted on giving the fringe players some playing time.

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