BurrOaks77 is writing DAILY articles during the 2022 FIFA World Cup, right here on FlashPicks.com. Check out his picks for Tuesday's games below and if you're unsure on any of the terminology or markets be sure to read our quick and simple Soccer Betting Guide!
@BurrOaks77's World Cup Semi Final Picks: Argentina vs Croatia - 12/13
Argentina vs Croatia (2pm ET)
This is the match everyone expected to see, right?
First off, massive shout out to Croatia for getting an ET equalizer vs Brazil to send the game to PK’s. I honestly thought the game was over when Neymar scored. Croatia showed massive poise and an ability to go snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. This team is on a revenge tour and Argentina is the last team standing between Croatia and a second consecutive finals appearance.
Argentina looked to be the better side for the first 70 minutes of their match. Then the Netherlands brought on their big bodies and exposed a pretty significant weakness. This Argentinian team is SHORT and big bodies give them problems. Especially on set pieces. Croatia will hopefully have noticed that, because they definitely have a height advantage. Modric should be able to drop in dangerous balls for aerials in the box.
Ultimately Argentina won the match vs Netherlands in a PK shootout. It’s no secret that I had a major problem with the ref in that match. Messi had an obvious handball he wasn’t booked for, Argentina probably should have been shown a red for blasting the ball at Netherlands bench, calls were inconsistent at best, etc. etc. I would say that I was shocked by this atrocious officiating, but Lahoz is a La Liga ref and I am very familiar with his circus.
I think this will be a low scoring affair. I know I have said this at the end of every round, but it is worth repeating. Goals will be at a premium and the further into the tournament you go, the more obvious this becomes. I think Croatia is very sound and I wouldn’t anticipate seeing a PK awarded against them. Argentina has drawn a pen in regulation in three of their five matches this tournament. Messi scored on two of the three awarded.
I think we will get a fantastic midfield battle and most of this game will be played in the middle third. I don't anticipate either team being able to have sustained pressure in their opponent’s box. I think shots, SOT, goals, and assist props will be a tough market to play. That said, I can’t blame anyone for sticking with Messi props. He is completely backpacking this Argentine squad. I will certainly stick with his assist prop, as I believe Croatia will try and force someone else to beat them.
I am pumped to see two La Liga legends going at it again. Modric v Messi in their (most likely) final World Cup tournament. Club legends who battled it out for titles every year. There will be no love lost in this game. I think that Croatia have an advantage if this game goes to ET and especially in PK’s. If I am Argentina, I would do whatever I can to make sure this game is wrapped in 90’ or 120’ max. Dominik Livakovic has proven to be a brick wall in net and it is very clear that Croatia takes PK’s with authority and confidence. Emiliano Martinez is no slouch and a capable keeper, but he has allowed in a few questionable goals.
Full disclosure note: I am so sick of Messi and everyone talking about how much he “deserves” a World Cup for his career. I don’t feel anyone “deserves” anything in sports. That’s kind of the entire point of competition. You have to EARN victory. I want nothing more than to see Modric and Croatia send him packing. I am not sorry about that in the slightest.
CROATIA TO ADVANCE @ +210
MESSI ASSIST @ +260
BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE @ +135
latest soccer analysis
BurrOaks' UCL Picks: Manchester City vs Real Madrid - 5/17
The series tied up on aggregate, heading back to England, for the right to take on Inter Milan, and challenge for the European crown. Who will be the ones to pull it off? Will Erli......