Bet Now on The World Cup Final – France vs Croatia by Ken Edwards, 23 May 2018. This match is over: Final score is: 2-0 Next Croatia match: Argentina vs Croatia Next Nigeria match: Nigeria vs Iceland 17 June 2018 – 5am Australian Eastern Standard Time Group D Kaliningrad Stadium – Kaliningrad – Russia TV: SBS Two of Group D’s 2018 FIFA World Cup combatants, Croatia & Nigeria, meet in Russia’s Kaliningrad Arena early in the morning of 17 June 2018, Australian time. The two sides have not met before in a full international. Croatia Croatia’s lofty FIFA World Ranking of 15 has patched over the fact that they are an ageing side. For example, star playmaker Luka Modric is now 32 and does not possess the lightning turn of speed he once had. Croatia as always, seems caught in a web of internal political divides between coaches, players and administration (not unlike the Balkans themselves) Does that make it difficult even for quality players to focus on the task? The last chance for many of their team before international retirement. Nigeria The Super Eagles qualified for the World Cup easily and were runners-up to Morocco in February’s African Cup of Nations. The victory over Argentina in a recent friendly in Russia fed further hope for World Cup success for Nigeria. The German-coached team have a strong defence, with energetic ball-winners in midfield and the experienced calm of Mikel John Obi threading balls to the attack. Not the worst side at the World Cup by any means. Preview & Predictions Perhaps on the strength of recent wins in the World Cup lead-up matches, Croatia are the $1.80 favourites for the match with Betstar. Nigeria are outstanding value at $4.20 and the draw is offering a surprisingly generous payout of $3.50. More value can be found for this crucial Group D match, with a Nigerian 3-1 win at the outstanding value of $17.00 or a Croatian 2-0 win at $7.50. Statistics Croatia have scored an average of 1.1 goals in their last 10 matches Croatia to score less than 2 goals – $1.67 Nigeria have scored an average of 1.6 goals in their last 10 matches Nigeria to score more than 2 goals – $4.60 Luka Modric to be named Player of the Tournament – $51.00 Croatia to win Group D – $3.40 Possible Lineups Croatia: Dominik Livaković, Šime Vrsaljko, Ivan Strinić, Ivan Perišić, Vedran Ćorluka, Dejan Lovren, Ivan Rakitić, Mateo Kovačić, Andrej Kramarić, Luka Modrić (captain), Marcelo Brozović, Lovre Kalinić, Tin Jedvaj, Filip Bradarić, Duje Ćaleta-Car, Nikola Kalinić, Mario Mandžukić, Ante Rebić, Milan Badelj, Marko Pjaca, Domagoj Vida, Josip Pivarić, Danijel Subašić. Nigeria: Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Brian Idowu, Elderson Echiéjilé, Wilfred Ndidi, William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun, Ahmed Musa, Oghenekaro Etebo, Odion Ighalo, John Obi Mikel (captain), Victor Moses, Shehu Abdullahi, Simeon Nwankwo, Kelechi Iheanacho, Joel Obi, Daniel Akpeyi, Ogenyi Onazi, Alex Iwobi, John Ogu, Chidozie Awaziem, Tyronne Ebuehi, Kenneth Omeruo, Francis Uzoho.