Croatia lock horns with Iceland in the last group D game of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The Blazers enjoyed convincing wins over Nigeria and Argentina in their first two games, and will be looking for just a point tonight to cement their place as group winners.
Iceland were resilient against Argentina in their second game, forcing a 1-1 draw, but will be playing for a win tonight as anything else will dump them out of the competition.
Here’s our preview of the match, featuring predictions and betting tips on popular markets. Odds used in the articles are provided by bookie Betfair.
PREDICTION AND BETTING TIPS
Croatia haven’t tasted defeated or even looked like they deserve losing so far in the tournament. We don’t expect this to be the day that changes. With Iceland highly dependent on a defensive approach to get a share of the spoils against big teams, change of plans as they look for a win may render them vulnerable and easy to defeat. We expect Croatia to make it three wins tonight – a prospect quoted at 10/11 on Betfair. An Iceland win is 16/5 to happen while the price for a draw is a lucrative 14/5.
Croatia have shown that they are a team made of goalscorers from midfield to attack. The highest on this market is Mario Mandzukic who has been quoted at 4/1 to be the first on the scoresheet and 17/10 to score anytime. Compatriot Andrej Kramaric is a 9/2 bet to score the first goal of the game and 15/8 to score anytime. He sits ahead of Ivan Perisic and Ante Rebic, who are set at 9/4 and 12/5 to find the back of the net respectively.
Gylfi Sigurdsson is down at 15/2 to open the scoring and 16/5 to score anytime while Mandzukic, who hasn’t disappointed in the two opening matches is priced at 8/1 and 7/2 to be the first on the scoresheet and score anytime respectively.
OVER/UNDER 2.5 MATCH GOALS
Croatia have managed to score 5 goals in two matches. Their 3-0 win over Argentina was evidence they love scoring goals in an open game. If Iceland employ an attacking approach tonight as expected, it will be easier for Croatia to retaliate and convert their chances. Basically, we expect an over 2.5 goals scoreline in this fixture.
The prospect has been quoted at 23/20 while the contrary is a 7/10 bet.
BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE
Iceland have found the back of the net in four of their last five fixtures with the game against Nigeria the only time they failed to score. Croatia have also scored in four of their last five matches while keeping clean sheets in three. We reckon they will take all three points tonight, but not by a clean sheet with Iceland expected to push for a win themselves.
The guys at Betfair seem torn on this having placed odds of 10/11 against both the prospect of either team finding the back of the net and the contrary.