Lionel Messi faces his litmus test as fancied Argentina run into Croatia to keep their FIFA World 2018 hopes alive. Argentina will be gunning for their first win in the FIFA World Cup 2018 as they run into Croatia for their second Group D encounter.
Table toppers Croatia have stared their World Cup 2018 campaign with the 2-0 drubbing of Nigeria, while fancied Argentina and their biggest hope Messi have been off-colour during the 1-1 draw against minnows Iceland. Lionel Messi will be under pressure to live up to his reputation and lift the team. In spite of the missed penalty in the game against Iceland, Messi enjoys some crucial support from manager Jorge Sampaoli, who believes the Barcelona and Argentina star striker lone cannot be blamed for team’s dismal showing in their tournament opener.
Croatia, with three points, from the win over Nigeria, don’t have much to lose against fancied Argentina. They are strong in the midfield. But overall superior combine Argentina will not just have the pressure to translate their reputation into performance. All eyes will yet again be on LM10. The team needs his heroics while the star striker will face more scrutiny from critics for hot being able to match his performance for Barcelona every time he dons the white and sky blue Argentina jersey.
The last match of the day (Thursday), starting at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium at 11:30 pm India time, and the two earlier games at 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm will be streamed live at LIVE ON SONYLIV.COM.
Here are the links for live action of all the three matches on Thursday.
DENMARK vs AUSTRALIA
The Group C second-round game between Denmark and Australia is scheduled from 5:30 pm India time – the first FIFA World Cup match for the day – at the Samara Arena.
The two teams will meet for the fourth time and for the first at the FIFA World Cup stage. Denmark has won two of their previous friendly fixtures, while the Aussie have been the winners once. However, Australia have lost seven of their nine World Cup encounters against European opposition with their only win coming against Serbia in 2010.
The Kangaroos will be under pressure for having lost all their last four World Cup matches, conceding at least two goals in each game.
Denmark are fresh from their win over Peru in the opening match and will be gunning to repeat the outcome for a berth in the FIFA World Cup 2018 knout out stage.
FRANCE vs PERU
France have won their FIFA World Cup 2018 opener against Australia. However, manager Didier Deschamps was not at happy with his team’s showing for the 2-1 verdict in their favour.
France again starts as favourites against Peru, who according to their own boss Ricordo Gareca will be glad even if they manage to hold the strong French side. The match at Ekaterinbur Arena will start at 8:30 pm India time.
Sony Pictures Network, the official and exclusive FIFA World Cup 2018 broadcaster in the Indian sub-continent, is transmitting all the action live on Sony Ten and Sony ESPN channels in six languages across five screens. The English language World Feed is broadcast live on Sony Ten 2 and Sony Ten 2 HD. Sony Ten 3 and Sony Ten 3 HD are the destinations for the live action, analysis, previews and reviews in Hindi language. The regional language feed in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Bengali language is broadcast on Sony ESPN.
The fans on the move have the liberty to catch the live action in six languages on Sony LIV.