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Croatia vs Brazil – World Cup quarter-final: Team news, lineups & prediction

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Croatia go up against Brazil on Friday afternoon in a meeting between two teams that delivered contrasting displays to make it into the World Cup quarter-finals.

While Croatia laboured through 120 minutes and penalties to squeak past Japan, Brazil’s second-round match against South Korea was over as a contest after 12 minutes, eventually rattling in four audacious first-half goals.

Here’s everything you need to know about the first quarter-final in Qatar.

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Croatia vs Brazil H2H Results (All Time)

Current Form (Last Five Games)

Croatia team news

Croatia were missing two options at fullback against Japan. Josip Stanisic is yet to make an appearance in Qatar but didn’t make the bench for the round of 16 tie while nursing a muscular issue.

Borna Sosa was a more notable absentee. The illness suffered by the marauding left-back robbed Croatia of a key attacking influence and he is a doubt going forward.

Croatia Starting 11 (4-3-3): Livakovic; Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Barisic; Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic; Kramaric, Livaja, Perisic.
Bench: Grbic, Ivusic, Erlic, Vida, Sutalo, Sosa, Jakic, Sucic, Majer, Osric, Pasalic, Petkovic, Budimir, Vlasic.

Brazil team news

Gabriel Jesus and Alex Telles have already been ruled out for the rest of the competition. 90min understands that the Arsenal striker could be sidelined with a knee injury for several months.

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Alex Sandro has been struggling with a hip problem since the narrow victory over Switzerland but his club-mate Danilo is an able deputy.

Brazil Starting 11 (4-3-3): Alisson; Militao, Marquinhos, Silva, Danilo; Paqueta, Casemiro, Neymar; Raphinha, Richarlison, Vinicius.
Bench: Weverton, Ederson, Bremer, Alves, Fabinho, Guimaraes, Fred, Everton, Martinelli, Antony, Rodrygo, Pedro.

Brazil were at their dancing best against South Korea

Brazil were at their dancing best against South Korea / Simon M Bruty/GettyImages

Team to win/progress

Brazil to win to nil – Brazil have won 10 of their last 11 games in all competitions, with seven of those victories coming to nil.

Brazil to win by exactly two goals – Four of Croatia’s last six defeats at major tournaments (World Cup/EUROs) have come by exactly two goals, including each of their last three loses at the World Cup.

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Goalless AET – Two of Croatia’s four games at the 2022 World Cup have finished 0-0, while only England (12) have played out more goalless draws than Brazil (9) in World Cup history.

Croatia to win – Brazil have lost each of their last five World Cup knockout stage games against European nations, including three quarter-final ties in that run.

Croatia to win is currently 8/1*

Extra-time & Croatia to win via penalties – Seven of Croatia’s last eight knockout stage games at major tournaments (World Cup and Euro) have gone to extra time, progressing from all four such games at the World Cup, three via penalty shootouts.

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Goals & Cards

Brazil to score first – Croatia have conceded the first goal in six of their last eight World Cup matches (the other two finishing goalless), while Brazil have opened the scoring in seven of their last nine games at the tournament.

Under 2.5 total match goals – There have been under 2.5 goals in four of Croatia’s last five games in all competitions and in three of Brazil’s four games at this year’s World Cup.

Brazil over 3.5 goals – Brazil have scored 4+ goals in six of their last 11 games in all competitions.

Brazil to score over 3.5 goals is currently 4/1*

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Richarlison to score & have exactly two shots on target – Richarlison has scored 10 goals in nine appearances for Brazil in 2022, registering exactly two shots on target in seven of those nine matches.

Ivan Perisic to score or assist – Ivan Perisic has been involved in 10 goals in his last 13 appearances at the World Cup (6 goals, 4 assists).

Neymar to score a penalty in normal time – Each of Neymar’s last six goals for Brazil have come from the penalty spot.

Raphinha to score or assist – No player has had more shots (8) or created more chances (8) for Brazil at the 2022 World Cup than Raphinha, though he’s yet to score or assist a goal at the tournament so far.

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Croatia 2+ cards – Brazil’s opponents have been shown 2+ cards in 19 of their last 22 games, while Neymar has been fouled 12 times in just two appearances at this year’s World Cup (fouled every 13 minutes on average).

Insights courtesy of Opta. Head to The Analyst Stats Hub for live group stage standings, top scores, match metrics, team stats and much more!

*Odds correct at time of publication. 18+. Please gamble responsibly. BeGambleAware.org

Zlatko Dalic was full of praise for the “terrifying” Brazil, lauding Tite’s side as “the most powerful and best team in this World Cup”.

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However, he has a plan. Copy Switzerland. “Switzerland had the best tactics and opposed Brazil the best,” Dalic argued. “We have to copy the model of Switzerland.” Brazil may have won that group-stage encounter but it took a sumptuous strike from Casemiro to break Switzerland’s resolve after 83 solid minutes of resistance.

Croatia are arguably better on the ball than their Swiss benchmark but Brazil clicked into a menacing gear against South Korea, combining to devastating effect with a frontline that once again includes Neymar.

It would be a gross underestimation of Croatia’s evident grit to suggest that they will wilt before Brazil’s flicks and tricks. However, this Brazil side should have enough to overpower a dogged (and dog-tired) Croatia.

Prediction: Croatia 0-2 Brazil

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Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders, Sean Walsh, Ali Rampling and Brian Goldfarb to look back on the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil – join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!



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EPL

Cody Gakpo reflects on first month at Liverpool

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Liverpool forward Cody Gakpo has opened up on his first month on the books at Anfield, admitting he is still getting used to Jurgen Klopp’s tactics.

The Dutchman was wanted by a number of elite sides, with Manchester United expected to win the race for his signature, but it was Liverpool who snuck in and agreed to pay an initial £35m to bring Gakpo to England.

The 23-year-old, who made his name as a left winger but has spent time as a striker at Liverpool, is yet to score after four appearances for his new side, but he told club media that is it just a matter of getting to grips with his new surroundings

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“My feeling, personally, is everyone in the team has so much quality,” he said. “That is what I see in training and in phases in the games.

“It is also a part of football, that sometimes things don’t work out exactly the way you want them to. We just have to keep improving, working hard, and the quality will come out. Then, you’re going to see the real Liverpool.”

He continued: “From a football perspective, it’s a new environment on the pitch, with new players and a new team. I can tell it’s a really great group. Every day I am looking forward to working with them, to train hard and to play the games. I am trying to adapt as quickly as possible, to improve every day and in the end show the best version of myself.

“Off the pitch, to be honest, I haven’t been in the city so many times yet. Most of the time I have been in the hotel. I am moving this week, actually. That’s also something I’m looking forward to.”

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Listen now as Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey and Toby Cudworth to discuss the latest transfer news. On today’s agenda: Dusan Vlahovic, Anthony Gordon, Enzo Fernandes, Amadou Onana, Malo Gusto, Nicolo Zaniolo, Pedro Porro, Weston McKennie, Milan Skriniar, Maiximo Perrone & more!

If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!

Gakpo also confessed that he is still trying to adapt to his new role in Liverpool’s team.

“It is a little bit different to what I’m used to,” the Dutchman admitted. “Normally, I have played on the left for almost the past three years.

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“It’s something I can improve, playing in the striker role, and I want to show my quality there. It’s a great position and playing there makes me more complete as a technical player.





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EPL

Fulham launch bid Fluminense midfielder Andre

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Fulham have made a bid to sign Fluminense midfielder Andre, 90min understands.

The 21-year-old has quickly established himself as one of Fluminense’s top players and a number of sides across Europe have expressed an interest in luring him away from his homeland in 2023.

Sources have confirmed to 90min that Fulham have approached Fluminense to try and thrash out a deal, but the Brazilian side are reluctant to part ways with their star player during the 2023 campaign.

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Andre, who has been linked with the likes of Barcelona and Liverpool, has spoken out about the interest and insisted his focus remains solely on his current employers.

“Obviously, I’m focused and very happy,” Andre said recently. “I just renewed my contract until 2026.

“It’s normal to get offers, but I’m focused here on Fluminense and having an excellent season.”

Listen now as Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey and Toby Cudworth to discuss the latest transfer news. On today’s agenda: Dusan Vlahovic, Anthony Gordon, Enzo Fernandes, Amadou Onana, Malo Gusto, Nicolo Zaniolo, Pedro Porro, Weston McKennie, Milan Skriniar, Maiximo Perrone & more!

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If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!

Andre’s agent, Carlos Leite, also took to Instagram to confirm that the 21-year-old had agreed to remain with Fluminense until the end of the current campaign, which runs over the entire calendar year.

“Thanks to the great work carried out, Andre entered the radars of some of the biggest European clubs and, with that, he has received several enquiries and some official proposals,” Leite wrote.

“However, the player and Fluminense, through president Mario Bittencourt, sealed an agreement for the midfielder to remain at the club at this time, with all the dedication and commitment, always seeking the best for Fluminense in all competitions.”

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Sporting CP manager makes Pedro Porro admission as Tottenham talks continue

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Sporting CP manager Ruben Amorim has warned Tottenham that he will not take right-back Pedro Porro out of his starting lineup until a transfer has been 100% agreed.

90min understands Tottenham are confident they will get a deal over the line for the 23-year-old eventually, but Sporting’s reluctance to budge from their asking price of Porro’s €45m release clause has led to some lengthy negotiations which are not yet over.

And while Porro is still contracted to Sporting, Amorim will not hesitate to use the right-back and risk an injury which could see the entire move collapse.

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“Porro does not leave before the game,” Amorim said ahead of Saturday’s Allianz Cup final against Porto. “Clubs have to come first, and as far as I know, a player who is able to play and is signed up by a club, he has to go to games.

“I realise that [negotiations] involve a lot of players’ minds, but the indication I have is that Porro is fit, and the most important thing for me, as a manager, is that if he wasn’t there, there would be someone else. The game cannot be played with just one player. Porro is fit. Whatever has to happen will happen, we are prepared for all scenarios.”

Listen now as Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey and Toby Cudworth to discuss the latest transfer news. On today’s agenda: Dusan Vlahovic, Anthony Gordon, Enzo Fernandes, Amadou Onana, Malo Gusto, Nicolo Zaniolo, Pedro Porro, Weston McKennie, Milan Skriniar, Maiximo Perrone & more!

If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!

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Amorim continued: “Is this Porro’s last game at the club? I don’t know. There are a few days left until February 1, then everyone will know if Porro stays or leaves.

“Porro hasn’t left yet. We are scouting, but not everything is easy, you’re in a real hurry to send Porro away!”

Spurs have repeatedly tried to lower Sporting’s asking price for Porro by including at least one player in the deal, but the Portuguese side have been clear about their determination to hold out for the right-back’s release clause – in full.





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