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Can Morocco cause another shock in World Cup 3rd place play-off against Croatia?

It is the game that no team at the World Cup wanted to be playing in, but both Croatia and Morocco will hope they can end their Qatar experience on a high with victory in Saturday's third-place playoff.

Croatia were beaten 3-0 in their semi-final against Argentina on Tuesday while Morocco's spirited performance was not enough for them to avoid a 2-0 loss to defending champions France the following night.

The pair have already met in a Group F match at the tournament which ended in a goalless draw and neutrals will be hoping they will serve up a more entertaining spectacle when they meet at the Khalifa International Stadium.

What: Croatia v Morocco
Where: Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
When: 15:00, Saturday 17th December
How to Watch: BBC One
Odds: Croatia 13/10, Morocco 21/10, Draw 12/5

Pair still have much to play for

There is little doubt that the third-place playoff is the strangest of the 64 games that are played at a 32-team World Cup.

Firstly, neither team wants to be playing in it. It is only a few days after the huge disappointment of losing a semi-final and at times little credence is placed on finishing third. All they want to do is get it over and done with and head to the airport.

However, there is a decent chance that this year's might not follow that pattern as both Croatia and Morocco would view finishing third as a huge achievement.

As a young country that featured for the first time in a World Cup in 1998, national pride is a huge thing for Croatia so it is unlikely they will take things easy.

They named a strong team when they beat the Netherlands in the third-place game on that occasion and it is difficult to see coach Zlatko Dalic not doing exactly the same.

And this is a huge landmark for Morocco too.

They became the first African team to reach the semi-finals and gaining third spot would also be seen as a huge achievement, so we can expect them to put their heart and soul into it, followed by their massive collection of passionate supporters.

Extra-time and penalties could be required to decide who finishes third, with Croatia 7/10 To Finish 3rd to come out on top while Morocco are 21/20 in the same market. 

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Croatia have all the experience

Croatia have one of the most experienced squads at the World Cup and they have had to use all of their nous to get to this stage.

They had two goalless draws against Morocco and Belgium in their group while Canada were beaten 4-1, but Croatia needed penalties to see off both Japan and Brazil in the knockout stages.

Their spirit was optimised in their win over Brazil when they fought back to draw in extra-time after it seemed a Neymar goal had put their opponents through, but they were unable to muster much against another giant of the South American game, Argentina, when they lost 3-0 in the semi-finals on Tuesday.

This may be seen as an opportunity for aging players such as Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic to take a rest, but we should still anticipate a spirited performance.

Morocco will be encouraged by France loss

Morocco did not have the best of preparations for the World Cup - manager Walid Regragui had just two games in charge of the team before the tournament - but they have been excellent and were unfortunate not to run France closer in Wednesday's semi-final.

They took the game to Les Bleus after conceding an early goal and only poor finishing prevented them from at least taking the game to extra-time.

A late second goal was a killer blow, but they should be encouraged by that performance, just as they were in beating both Spain and Portugal to reach this stage.

They have done better than any other African team at a World Cup and claiming third spot, while still being tinged with disappointment, would still be an excellent achievement.

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