Fifa World Cup: Croatia vs Morocco prediction & result: Saturday 17 December

It’s a battle between Europe and Africa to claim third place at the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar on Saturday, as Croatia take on Morocco.

It’s time for one of the oddities of the Fifa World Cup on Saturday, as Croatia and Morocco lock horns in an attempt to secure a third-placed finish in the 2022 edition in Qatar.

Argentina and France have the planet salivating over a Lionel Messi vs Kylian Mbappe final on Sunday.

But don’t forget this pair, with the Croatians having churned their way to the latter stages yet again, while the Moroccans have broken records in flying the flag for Africa and the Arab world.

World Cup predictions and fixtures for 17 December

*All kick off times are in Central Africa Time.

3rd/4th playoff: Croatia vs Morocco – 17.00

The penultimate fixture at the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar sees one last dance for impressive pair Croatia and Morocco in the 3rd/4th playoff on Saturday.

It’s one of international football’s stranger matches, pitting together two nations heartbroken from losing their respective semi-finals in midweek.

And they’ve got to do it all again in the desert heat, with minds starting to drift back to domestic football duties.

Luka Modric reminded the planet of his enduring quality as his Croatian side came up against Argentina in the semi-finals on Tuesday night.

But it was his old Real Madrid team-mate Lionel Messi who stole the limelight, with yet another goal from the penalty spot to break the deadlock past the otherwise impressive Dominik Livakovic, whose foul had given away the spot kick.

Then a pair of Messi assists for Julian Alvarez, the second tying wonderkid Josko Gvardiol in knots, as the South Americans denied Modric and Co the chance of a Russia 2018 final rematch with France.

Despair as well for Morocco, who battled gamely against the French reigning world champions before sliding to a 2-0 Wednesday night loss at the Lusail Stadium.

An unexpectedly long tournament was taking its toll, as Nayef Aguerd went down in the warm up to leave a huge hole in defence, before France-born captain Romain Saiss also hobbled off before half time.

A skillful Theo Fernandez finish at the far post after Kylian Mbappe had caused mayhem in the penalty area, helped to set Les Bleus on their way in between.

But the Atlas Lions were well in the contest, no more so than when Jawad El Yamiq struck an overhead kick that came away off the woodwork.

Randal Kolo Muani added the cruel second, though, in the 79th minute to leave too much work to do for aching African limbs.

It’s a small consolation, but the massed ranks of raucous Moroccan supporters do at least get one more outing in the sun on Saturday.

And who would have dared to dream they’d be playing for third place at the World Cup?