Argentina vs Croatia starting lineup confirmed: Sampaoli make three changes with Man Utd star and Di Maria dropping out

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Argentina face a tough tie against Croatia and will be hoping to get three points on the board.

By his own remarkably high standards, Lionel Messi will be looking to produce an improved performance after he failed to give Argentina win a 2-1 lead against Iceland with a 64th-minute penalty miss.

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Jorge Sampaoli’s men drew after Sergio Aguero put Argentina in the lead before Alfred Finnbogason equalised from close-range.

Angel di Maria misses out, along with Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo and Lucas Biglia, as per the BBC.

Gabriel Mercado, Marcos Acuna and Enzo Perez all start instead.

Meanwhile, Croatia ran out 2-0 winners against Nigeria in the other Group D fixture and victory against the Argentines will see them progress to the last-16.

Real Madrid star Luka Modric netted from the penalty spot and he starts tonight alongside Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic in midfield.

As per Sky Sports, Croatia will be without Nikola Kalinic, who was sent home after reportedly refusing to come on as a substitute against Nigeria, due to a back injury.

Argentina vs Croatia starting lineup

Argentina XI

Caballero; Mercado, Otamendi, Tagliafico; Salvio, Mascherano, Perez, Acuna; Messi, Meza; Aguero.

Croatia XI

Argentina World Cup squad:

Goalkeepers: Willy Caballero (Chelsea), Franco Armani (River Plate), Nahuel Guzman (Tigres UANL)

Defenders: Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla), Federico Fazio (Roma), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Nicolas Taglafico (Ajax), Javier Mascherano (Hebei Fortune), Marcos Acuna (Sporting Lisbon), Cristian Ansaldi (Torino).

Midfielders: Ever Banega (Sevilla), Lucas Biglia (AC Milan), Angel Di Maria, Giovani Lo Celso (both Paris St-Germain), Enzo Perez (River Plate), Cristian Pavon (Boca Juniors), Maximiliano Meza (Independiente), Eduardo Salvio (Benfica).

Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala (both Juventus), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City).

Croatia World Cup squad:

GOALKEEPERS: Danijel Subasic (Monaco), Lovre Kalinic (Gent), Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo Zagreb).

DEFENDERS: Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow), Domagoj Vida (Besiktas), Ivan Strinic (Sampdoria), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool), Sime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid), Josip Pivaric (Dynamo Kiev), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer Leverkusen), Duje Caleta-Car (Red Bull Salzburg).

MIDFIELDERS: Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid), Milan Badelj (Fiorentina), Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan), Filip Bradaric (Rijeka).

FORWARDS: Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan), Nikola Kalinic (AC Milan), Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim), Marko Pjaca (Schalke), Ante Rebic (Eintracht Frankfurt).

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