AFTER MANY FOOTBALLING BATTLES, the Qatar World Cup semi-finals of the competition takes place this week. Argentina take on Croatia and France play Morocco for a place in this year's final on Sunday.
Lionel Messi's Argentina side takes on Croatia on Tuesday, while France plays Croatia on Wednesday.
People will be expecting an Argentina-France final on Sunday, but it might not be as clear cut as that after France's game midweek.
The possibility of a Croatia and Morocco final is not something that can be dismissed so easily.
Whatever happens the semi-finals promises to be another cracker.
Here's a preview for both games.
Argentina vs Croatia and France vs Morocco
Where are the games on ?
Argentina will play Croatia at the Lusail Iconic Stadium.
France will play Croatia at the Al Bayt Stadium.
What time are the games on ?
Argentina's game will take today place at 19.00
France's game will take place on Wednesday at 19.00.
What channels are the games on ?
RTE Two will show the Argentina game today. Coverage will start at 18.00
For UK Viewers, Argentina's game will also be shown on ITV One from 6:15 pm tonight.
RTE Two will also show France's game against Morocco. Coverage will start at 18.00
For UK Viewers, France's game will be shown on BBC One, with coverage scheduled to start at 6:30pm tomorrow.
World Cup form last 5 games
Morocco: D, W,W,W,W
Croatia: D, W, D, W, W
How did each team get here ?
Argentina lost their opening game to Saudi Arabia in their group, but beat Mexico and Poland to advance to the last 16.
They overcame Australia in that round and knocked out the Netherlands in the quarter-final via penalties.
Croatia drew with Belgium, beat Canada, and drew with Morocco in their group.
They played Japan in the last-16, knocked them out on penalties and the same to Brazil in the following round.
France sailed through their group beating the likes of Australia, Denmark, before losing to Tunisia in the final game.
Didier Deschamps side dismantled Poland in the last-16 and overcame a very impressive England side in the following round.
Morocco beat Canada, Belgium and drew with Croatia in their group.
The African side beat Spain on penalties in the last-16, and would go on to beat Portugal 1-0 in the following round.
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What has been said by coaches ?
France's coach Didier Deschamps:“We played a superb England team who are strong technically and physically.
“It’s brilliant for the players to be in the last four again. In these moments, you kind of wish time could stop for a while.
“But tonight we’re going to enjoy it. We got a bit lucky, though, because we gave away two penalties.
“We kept our lead with our hearts and our guts.”
Morocco's coach Walid Regragui: "We had perhaps the most difficult route to the semis.
Every round people thought we would get knocked out but we are still here and we are going to fight to the end," he said.
Argentina's Leo Scaloni: “I don’t accept people saying that we don’t know how to win.
We have to get rid of that because we are entitled to have some pride.
We have a lot of respect for the Netherlands, and now Croatia and all the opponents we may face.
That’s been our approach since day one.”
Croatia's Zlatko Dalic: "We want more, we are playing the great Argentina, a terrific team led by Lionel Messi, they are highly-motivated and under more pressure than Croatia at this moment in time.
"I am an optimist by nature, I do trust my players, they have demonstrated a high-level of quality, strength of character as we would not have made it to the semi-finals without that. We will not change the way we play.
"My pride has no limits, the sky's the limit. Everyone has a dream and my dream was to be head coach of my country but I could never have wished for this."
Each country's top scorers
France: Kylian Mbappé 5 goals, Olivier Giroud, 4 goals
Argentina: Lional Messi, 4 goals, Julian Alvarez, 2 goals
Croatia: Andrej Kramarić, 2 goals
Morocco: Youssef En-Nesyri 2 goals
Argentina possible starting lineup: E. Martinez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Tagliafico; Fernandez, De Paul, Mac Allister; Di Maria, Messi, Alvarez
Croatia possible starting lineup: Livakovic; Juranovic, Gvardiol, Lovren, Sosa; Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic; Pasalic, Kramaric, Perisic
France possible starting lineup: Lloris; Kounde, Varane, Upamecano, T. Hernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot; Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe; Giroud
Morocco possible starting lineup: Bono; Hakimi, El Yamiq, Aguerd, Mazraoui; Ounahi, Amrabat, Amallah; Ziyech, En-Nesyri, Boufal
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