World Cup: Daily update from day 2 in Qatar
Croatia face Morocco in their World Cup opener as they bid to repeat their superb journey to the final in 2018.
Luka Modric, who won the Golden Ball in Russia four years ago, will hope to deliver one last time for Croatia in a World Cup, with Zlatko Dalić’s side packed with talent.
Speaking of which, Walid Regragui’s Morocco side have the potential to cause an upset in the tournament, having fallen slightly short of expectations in their run to the quarter-finals at last year’s Africa Cup of Nations.
Belgium and Canada are also in Group F, with each of the four sides capable of qualifying for the last 16 of the competition.
Follow all the action from the Al Bayt Stadium with our live blog below:
Morocco vs Croatia
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Morocco vs Croatia: TEAM NEWS
Morocco: Bounou, Hakimi, Saiss, Aguerd, Mazraoui, Ounahi,
Amrabat, Ziyech, Amallah, Boufal, En-Nesyri.
Subs: Hamdallah, Zaroury, Sabiri, Mohamedi, Chair, Aboukhlal, Ezzalzouli,
El Yamiq, Dari, Cheddira, Tagnaouti, El Khannous, Benoun,
Attiyat Allah, Jabrane.
Croatia: Livakovic, Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa, Modric,
Brozovic, Kovacic, Vlasic, Kramaric, Perisic
Subs: Stanisic, Barisic, Erlic, Majer, Grbic, Livaja, Pasalic, Petkovic,
Budimir, Orsic, Vida, Ivusic, Sutalo, Sucic, Jakic.
Kieran Jackson23 November 2022 08:54
World Cup: Gareth Southgate ‘worried’ over England penalty situation at World Cup
Harry Maguire appeared to have been man-handled in the box during the first half, but the incident didn’t even go to VAR despite teams having been warned that was precisely the sort of moment that would be penalised. Southgate said it concerned him all the more since it had been an England goal that was used as an example in guidance to referees before the tournament.
The officials had been shown Kalvin Phillips blocking Albanian defenders for a Maguire goal in a 5-0 win last November, with Pierluigi Collina saying “that would be disallowed here – it would be interfering with an opponent from an offside position”. Southgate felt that rationale wasn’t applied. England did give away a penalty for the last goal of the game.
“Well, what worries me is we were used in an example in the referee’s video. And what we were shown, the incident in the first half, we were told that would be a definite penalty, the second half, maybe there’s a shirt pull, we’ve got to be better on that but I’m a bit worried we were the example shown, and then to get a decision as happened in the first half, we need some clarification really as to how it’s going to be.
“That happened in Russia actually, and we’ve got to have that dialogue with Fifa and just make sure… we want clarity, otherwise, we don’t know where we stand. Goals are going in and we don’t know whether they stand or not. The bit that worries me is we were the example we were shown.”
(The FA via Getty Images)
Kieran Jackson23 November 2022 08:45
France 4-1 Australia: A blow for the holders!
The Bayern Munich defender was forced off in the first half of Tuesday’s 4-1 win over Australia and subsequent scans have shown a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament of his right knee.
It means Hernandez will be set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines and play no further part in the holders’ attempts to defend their World Cup title in Qatar.
National team boss Didier Deschamps said: “Like the whole group, players and staff, I am extremely sorry for Lucas.We are losing an important element. Lucas is a warrior and I have no doubt that he will do everything possible to return to the game.
“First plan, I know him well. Courage, he will have it, that’s for sure. On behalf of the group, I wish him the best possible recovery.”
Hernandez has become the third player to leave the France camp since the squad linked up for the tournament with Karim Benzema and Christopher Nkunku also suffering injuries during the past week.
Kieran Jackson23 November 2022 08:21
Morocco vs Croatia predicted line-ups: Team news ahead of World Cup fixture
Croatia play Morocco in Group F of the World Cup. With Belgium favourites to top Group F, Croatia and Morocco could be battling it out for the second qualification spot alongside Canada.
Croatia were finalists four years ago in Russia and Luka Modric remains the leader of the side, with Mateo Kovacic being his partner in midfield. Morocco will look to influential wing-back Achraf Hakimi and Chelsea forward Hakim Ziyech as they aim to improve upon their showing in 2018 when they failed to qualify from the group stages.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Kieran Jackson23 November 2022 08:19
Morocco vs Croatia team news
Neither team seem to have any reported injury concerns in the build-up and may opt to stick with settled sides.
Croatia have key partnerships in defence and midfield, with Dejan Lovren partnering Josko Gvardiol at the back and Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic in midfield.
Ivan Perisic will look to rampage down the left, while Bruno Petkovic and Andrej Kramaric may compete for the starting spot up front.
For Morocco, Nayef Aguerd should start at the heart of defence despite barely featuring in the Premier League for West Ham this season.
Jack Rathborn22 November 2022 16:42