#WorldCup Day 8: What to look out for

France will feel lucky going into their game against Peru with three points following the VAR review awarding them a delayed, contentious penalty.

Croatia players celebrate after beating Nigeria 2-0 in a group stage match in the 2018 Fifa World Cup. Picture:  @FIFAWorldCup/Twitter.

Feature Match: ARGENTINA V CROATIA

Argentina key players:

Lionel Messi (Forward)
Lionel Messi will be looking for redemption on Thursday evening following his penalty miss which cost Argentina two points in the first round. Despite the penalty miss, the Barcelona forward had an impressive eleven shots at goal and turning over possession eight times. With a passing accuracy above 80% - which is expected from Messi – Croatia must be rock solid at the back to contain him.

Sergio Agüero (Striker)
Sergio Agüero got the ball rolling for Argentina scoring an impressive tenth-minute opener against Iceland. His hunger for a goal continued throughout the game and will be on the hunt for more goals against the Croats. The Manchester City striker managed three shots at goal throughout the game but his work rate will surely help a hungry Messi towards three points and a step closer to the next round.

Croatia Key Players:

Ivan Strinić (Defender)
The best and busiest of Croatia's backline, Sampdoria fullback Strinić embraced the physical challenges that Nigeria presented. Strinić completed three tackles, made five clearances and won five aerial duels. Alongside Dejan Lovren, Croatia will have a chance to contain the Argentinians.

Luka Modrić (Midfielder)
Despite a relatively slow start against Nigeria, Luka Modrić grew into the game. His calm demeanour in the middle of the field dictated the way Croatia attacked. His backtracking throughout the game paid testament to his work rate. A complete performance was rounded off with a successful penalty kick.

Ahmed’s Prediction: Argentina 1 – 1 Croatia

DENMARK V AUSTRALIA MATCH PREVIEW:

Cristian Eriksen’s brilliant passing helped pave the way for Denmark’s victory over Peru in the first round. The Spurs midfielder set up Yussuf Poulsen with a remarkable pass; he will be a major threat to the Austrian defence. Meanwhile, Australia will be hoping to overcome their technology-filled game against France. A loss for the Socceroo’s could spell doom for their progression hopes.

Ahmed’s Prediction: Denmark 2 – 1 Australia

FRANCE V PERU MATCH PREVIEW:

France will feel lucky going into their game against Peru with three points following the VAR review awarding them a delayed, contentious penalty. That will not be their focus as a win could guarantee progression to the knockout stages. Jefferson Farfán will be aiming to break the line of France’s defence.

Ahmed’s Prediction: France 2 – 0 Peru