Argentina vs Croatia prediction, odds, betting tips and best bets for World Cup 2022 semifinal

By | December 10, 2022

One of these teams was supposed to be here, but the other one was not as Argentina and Croatia meet in the 2022 World Cup semifinal, knowing a spot in the title match is on the line.

Argentina came into the World Cup as second-favorites to win the tournament, behind only CONMEBOL foes Brazil. The tournament seemed destined to pit the two South American rivals against each other in this semifinal, but Croatia spoiled the party by downing Brazil on penalties in the quarterfinal. The 2018 finalists are aiming to reach their second-straight title match, after falling just short at the hands of France four years ago.

Now, Luka Modric and company will hope to do the same to Lionel Messi and Argentina, who escaped with a penalty shootout win over the Netherlands in their quarterfinal despite a late capitulation that nearly doomed their World Cup hopes as well.

Messi, likely in his last FIFA World Cup, is once again putting his nation on his shoulders in the hopes of reaching a summit that neither he nor chief rival Cristiano Ronaldo has managed to crest.

MORE: How to watch Argentina vs Croatia in World Cup semifinal play

Argentina vs Croatia odds

Despite Croatia’s tactical masterclass against Brazil in the last round, Argentina are still considered heavy favorites in this semifinal match.

Even more so, however, is the indication that sports books expect a lack of goals in this game, with the under swung massively in its favor and the “no” option on both teams to score given a huge advantage as well. This despite the quarterfinal games featuring these two teams featuring a combined six goals and no clean sheets.

Odds via BetMGM (USA), Sports Interaction (Canada), SkyBet (UK), and Ladbrokes (Australia).

  BetMGM Sports
SkyBet Ladbrokes
Argentina win -110 1.77 3/4 4/5
Draw +240 3.25 12/5 9/4
Croatia win +375 4.80 17/4 4/1
Both teams
to score Y / N
+125 / -185 2.20 / 1.53 11/8, 8/15 5/4, 3/5
Over / Under
2.5 goals
+145 / -210 2.46 / 1.49 13/8, 4/9 6/4, 1/2
Argentina -0.5 -135 1.77
Croatia +0.5 -110 1.99
Argentina advance -275 1.36 1/3 4/11
Croatia advance +185 2.90 9/4 2/1

Note: Odds above for 90 minutes of regulation except “to advance.”

Argentina vs Croatia: 3 things to know

Argentina vs Croatia team news

Injury news for Argentina vs Croatia

The fitness of Angel Di Maria will be the biggest question ahead of this match for Argentina. The 34-year-old winger was utilized only as a late punt at the death against the Netherlands as he looked to recover from a muscle issue suffered at the end of the Round of 16 game against Australia. Rodrigo de Paul was an injury worry ahead of the Netherlands game but he proved fit to start.

Croatia have no injury worries to speak of heading into this match. Mateo Kovacic was a worry before the quarterfinal match after a facial injury during a gym session, but he was fit to start. Nikola Vlasic had a muscle injury in the group stage but has recovered, while Marcelo Brozovic has recovered from his pre-tournament hamstring issue to be a key part of the Croatia midfield.

Yellow cards accumulated to this point are wiped in the semifinal, so no players can be suspended for the World Cup final due to accumulation. Only players sent off in the semifinal would be at risk for a suspension in the final.

Players suspended for Argentina vs Croatia due to yellow card suspension

Nation Player suspended Card 1 Card 2
Argentina Marcos Acuna Group Stage vs. POL, 49′ Quarterfinal vs. NED, 43′
Argentina Gonzalo Montiel Group Stage vs. MEX, 43′ Quarterfinal vs. NED, 106′
Croatia NONE

MORE: Full injury tracker for all 32 teams at the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Argentina vs Croatia key stats

  • Do-it-all Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic is the only player with at least 10 tackles won and at least 5 chances created in the 2022 World Cup.
  • Lionel Messi has created 16 chances in the 2022 World Cup, second-most of any player behind only Antoine Griezmann’s 17. Nobody else in the entire tournament field has more than 11, and nobody on Croatia has more than five.
  • Messi’s six goal contributions this World Cup are second only to Kylian Mbappe’s seven. Despite trailing by one, Messi has accumulated 5.03 expected goals + expected assists to Mbappe’s 4.01.

Argentina vs Croatia match facts

  • Date: Tuesday, December 13
  • Kickoff Time: 2:00 pm ET / 7:00 pm GMT / 6:00 am AEDT (Wed, Dec. 14)
  • Location: Lusail Iconic Stadium
  • Official: TBD

Argentina vs Croatia prediction

  • Moneyline lean: Draw (+240)
  • Against the spread lean: Croatia -0.5 (-110)
  • Score prediction: Argentina 0-0 Croatia

After the way Croatia played against Brazil, it’s hard to see why they can’t muster the same performance against a similar opponent in Argentina.

Croatia’s midfield played defense via possession against Brazil, with Marcelo Brozovic, Luka Modric, and Mateo Kovacic producing a masterclass. That would be a winning formula against Argentina as well as they hope to cut off the line-breaking passes that Argentina love to deliver.

Croatia have managed to reach extra-time in five of their last six World Cup knockout matches, only failing to do so in the 4-2 defeat to France in the 2018 final. Argentina do not look inspired in the final third, and seeing as they’ll miss a few players due to yellow card suspensions, Croatia could do the business again here with a pragmatic performance.

Picking against Dominik Livakovic in a penalty shootout may seem foolish, but Emi Martinez was just as good in his shootout performance against the Netherlands, and the Argentine takers seemed confident and collected when they stepped up to hit.

Argentina vs Croatia: best bet

  • Pick: Under 7.5 corners
  • Odds: TBD* (FanDuel)

This is going to be a cagey affair, and while it’s hard to know exactly who will finish on top, it’s definitely looking like corners will not play a major role in how this match is resolved. Neither team likes to rack up corners, except when absolutely desperate.

Argentina finished with eight corners against the Netherlands, but a whopping seven of those came in extra time, and this is a regulation bet. Croatia, meanwhile, collected just three corners through the 120 minutes of their quarterfinal, while conceding only five to their opponents Brazil in regulation, an extremely low number considering Brazil lead the World Cup in corners.

The early even-money total on corners appears to be 8.5, but if we bump it down to 7.5 the odds swing even more in our favor.

* Odds for corners & yellow cards are not released until closer to the individual match. When these odds are released, this will be updated to reflect.

Argentina vs Croatia prop bet

  • Pick: 1H under 0.5 goals
  • Odds: +115 (BetMGM)

While this match is likely to be cagey, the first half will be even more of a war, as it has been all tournament long.

Argentina and Croatia have combined for just 6.26 expected goals this World Cup through the first halves of their 10 total matches played. After the break, they open up to the tune of 8.5 combined xG. If focusing on just the knockout stage, the disparity is just as stark — the two sides combine for 1.5 xG in the first half, while putting together 3.2 in the second half.

Normally I like to play the second half to feature more goals, but the odds on that are slightly lower here, and if one team does manage to score in the first half, the other would do well to simply claw back level against a bunkered opponent. So I’ll instead take the selection with slightly higher odds knowing that a first-half goal would almost surely doom both picks.

Argentina vs Croatia flier bet

  • Pick: Lionel Messi to score and assist a goal
  • Odds: +444 (BetMGM)

Of all players at the FIFA World Cup with at least one goal and one assist, Lionel Messi leads the group in expected goals (3.82 xG), shots on target (12), and chances created (16). To put it simply, no player at the World Cup has featured a better combination of goalscoring and creativity than the 35-year-old Messi.

While Croatia dominated Brazil with their approach of deflating the ball with meaningless possession, Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni will now have a few days to figure out how to attack this tactic and get his best player on the ball. Brazil even seemed to figure it out after halftime, building pressure but failing to take advantage.

Messi has both scored and assisted a goal in the same match two times this tournament plus once more in Argentina’s pre-World Cup friendly against UAE. Why not put a flier on the greatest player in the world to put in another shift on both goalscoring and creativity fronts? For how difficult that feat is, 4/1 odds aren’t exactly sensational, but Messi odds will always be watered down by volume and star power.

Argentina vs Croatia live stream, TV channel

MORE: Watch every World Cup match live with fuboTV (U.S.-only free trial)

This first semifinal clash will be played at the Lusail Stadium. Here’s how you can watch all the action in some of the major global territories.

  Date Time TV Channel Streaming
USA Tue, Dec. 13 14:00 ET Fox,
Fox Sports site/app,
Telemundo Deportes site/app,
Canada Tue, Dec. 13 14:00 ET TSN 1, CTV, RDS (French) TSN site/app, CTV website,
RDS app
UK Tue, Dec. 13 19:00 GMT ITV/STV or BBC One (TBC) ITVX/STV Player, BBC iPlayer/BBC Sport website (TBC)
Australia Wed, Dec. 14 06:00 AEDT SBS SBS On Demand
India Wed, Dec. 14 00:30 IST Sports 18 Voot, JioTV
Hong Kong Wed, Dec. 14 03:00 HKT Now TV (Ch. 616, 618) Now TV
Malaysia Wed, Dec. 14 03:00 MYT Astro FIFA World Cup 1 Astro GO
Singapore Wed, Dec. 14 03:00 SGT StarHub TV FIFA World Cup, Singtel FIFA World Cup 141 Singtel TV GO, CAST,
StarHub TV+, MeWatch
New Zealand Wed, Dec. 14 08:00 NZDT Sky Sport 7 beIN Sports Sky Go, Sky Sport NOW