Croatia and Morocco made several changes to their starting lineups for their World Cup third-place playoff at Khalifa International Stadium on Saturday, with both coaches giving opportunities to players benched during the tournament.
Morocco will be without skipper Romain Saiss who lasted only 21 minutes in the semi-final defeat by France before he was substituted, with head coach Walid Regragui saying it was a risk worth taking at the time but not for the playoff.
“We won’t be taking risks… especially Saiss. He’s been ruled out. But I’m confident and trust in our group,” Regragui had said on the eve of the game.
In defence, Achraf Hakimi and Jawad El Yamiq retain their place, with Achraf Dari and Yahya Attiat-Allah coming in for the injured Saiss and Nayef Aguerd.
Croatia skipper Luka Modric starts in midfield alongside Mateo Kovacic, but Marcelo Brozovic sits out with Lovro Majer coming in. Marko Livaja and Mislav Orsic start in attack.
Croatia: Dominik Livakovic, Josip Stanisic, Ivan Perisic, Lovro Majer, Mateo Kovacic, Andrej Kramaric, Luka Modric, Marko Livaja, Mislav Orsic, Josko Gvardiol, Josip Sutalo
Morocco: Yassine Bounou, Achraf Hakimi, Abdelhamid Sabiri, Jawad El Yamiq, Sofyan Amrabat, Hakim Ziyech, Soufiane Boufal, Youssef En-Nesyri, Achraf Dari, Bilal El Khannouss, Yahya Attiat-Allah