Argentina vs Croatia – Predictions, Odds & Betting Tips
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Final Score: Argentina 0 – 3 Croatia
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22nd June – 04:00 AEST
Group D – Nizhny Novgorod Stadium – Fox Sports TV
Argentina vs Croatia Predictions
Argentina come into this game after an underwhelming draw with Iceland and will now have a fight on their hands to get out of the group. Croatia blew away Nigeria 2-0 and will be odds-on favourite in Group G to advance to the round of 16 now. Argentina are the clear favourites for the clash against Croatia with William Hill pricing them at 1.91 but it won’t be a walk in the park.
Croatia looked largely untroubled against Nigeria and lined up well defensively but the clash with Argentina will see them exposed a bit more. The South Americans play an exciting brand of football which is based purely on attacking. Argentina to win by a scoreline of 3-1 is well priced at 19.00 with Ladbrokes.
This should be an end to end encounter with Argentina out to win and get back into the mix of Group D. Over 2.5 Goals with Betstar is a good option at 2.30.
Both Teams To Score Prediction
With the likes of Messi and Aguero up front, there won’t be many games in this World Cup where Argentina don’t score, however, Croatia have Modric to work openings and they should find the back of the net as well. Crownbet have both teams to score at 1.98.
Group D could be one of the closest groups at this World Cup with every team still in with a great chance of qualification after the completion of the round one matches. Argentina will feel they aren’t where they should be and will be out to dominate against Croatia.
- Argentina have scored in all of their last five games
- Argentina to be leading at half time is 2.62 with Bet365
- Out of their last six games, Croatia have failed to score on three occasions
- Messi attempted 11 shots on goal against Iceland without scoring
- Messi has missed four of the last seven penalties he has taken for club and country
Why Should I Bet On Argentina Against Croatia?
The first two games of Group D were somewhat disappointing all around. The first shot on target between Croatia and Nigeria didn’t come until Odion Ighalo’s 59th-minute effort – at which point Croatia were 1-0 up via Oghenekaro Etebo’s own goal. In the other game, Iceland packed the box and defended like warriors to snuff out Lionel Messi and his compatriots to hold onto a 1-1 draw.
With Croatia at the top of the group, the European side could set up to try and achieve a draw in this one while looking to capitalize on the break and on set pieces. Argentina’s defence was proved to be very suspect against Iceland. But, with two very creative and less defensive central midfielders, the Argentine flair players may find more room to work. Argentina are favoured by bet365 to win at 1/1.
Half Time/Full Time: Draw/Argentina
The strong and compact defending of Iceland snuffed out much of Argentina’s creative potential, with only a wayward shot from Marcos Rojo providing an assist for the South Americans. As group leaders, Croatia could go out with the intent to draw, perhaps swapping the more attack-minded Andrej Kramaric with the more defensive Milan Badelj or the physical Mateo Kovacic to sit behind Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic.
In any case, Croatia are expected to be stingy and conservative early on. They can certainly catch out Argentina on set pieces due to the lacklustre defence that Argentina enforces. But, Argentina should enjoy a little bit more space and work their way into scoring areas more often as the game progresses. For the game to be a draw at half-time but Argentina to win the second half, Betfair give odds of 19/5.
Lionel Messi to score the first or last goal
Against Iceland, Messi cut the image of a very frustrated player. He was being closed down by two players at once, and Hannes Halldorsson saved his penalty shot. Late in the game, he forced his own chances and shot from range a lot, but failed to trouble the Icelandic goalie.
Croatia shut down the Nigerian strike force, but Messi plays a little deeper and will be able to make the most of the gaps between the defensive line and that of Rakitic and Modric if a defensive midfielder isn’t deployed to sit on Messi all game. Nevertheless, the superstar is expected to go out swinging and guide his team to victory. Centrebet give odds of 8/5 for Lionel Messi to score the first or last goal.
The two teams have met four times before;
- 1994 – Argentina 0 Croatia 0
- 1998 – Argentina 1 Croatia 0
- 2006 – Argentina 2 Croatia 3
- 2014 – Argentina 2 Croatia 1
World Cup Qualifiers
Argentina are extraordinarily lucky they have a man named Messi. Argentina struggled throughout the tough South American qualifying and required a Lionel Messi miracle hat-trick in the last match against Ecuador after falling behind in the first minute to record a relieving 3-1 win. It underlines that with Messi in your team, anything is possible. If Messi gains support from the talented but erratic front men in Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero, the Argentinians could beat anyone.
Top Goal Scorers in Qualifiers
- 7 Goals
- 2018 FIFA World Cup Top Goal Scorer Odds – Bet365 – $11.00
- Did not score in Qualifying
- 2018 FIFA World Cup Top Goal Scorer Odds – Bet365 – $26.00
Croatia enters the 2018 World Cup with lofty expectations, boasting what is arguably its strongest roster on paper since the 1998 World Cup. Led by Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, the Croatians are expected to finish second in their group behind Argentina, albeit a result concocted from an experienced but ageing side.
You must hand it to them, however, coming through a tough qualifying group including Turkey, Ukraine, fellow Group D aspirants Iceland, Finland and Kosovo to finish second. They followed that up with a play-off victory over Greece to earn their place at Russia 2018.
Top Goal Scorers in Qualifiers
- 5 goals
- 2018 FIFA World Cup Top Goal Scorer Odds – Bet365 – $101.00
- 3 goals
- 2018 FIFA World Cup Top Goal Scorer Odds – Bet365 – $151.00