Iceland vs Croatia Preview, Tips and Betting Predictions
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Final score: Iceland 1 – 2 Croatia
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Croatia come into this fixture unbeaten at the 2018 World Cup and they are yet to concede a goal. They have been excellent so far and will be expecting to reach the round of 16 with a perfect record at the group stage. They have goals in the side and an energetic midfield who work tirelessly to win back possession. They have already seen off Argentina and Nigeria and although they were defeated in Reykjavik during qualifying, they should be able to make it back-to-back wins against this opposition. Iceland weren’t at their best against Nigeria and struggled to contain their opponents for large portions of the game and they may just fall short here. Croatia are priced at 2.47 with 888sport and should be backed.
Iceland vs Croatia Preview
Iceland were undone by Nigeria in their second Group D match and it leaves this section wide open. They found the Super Eagles far too lively in the second half and their misery was compounded by a missed penalty from Gylfi Sigurdsson. They only have one point from their opening two matches but can still qualify for the knock-out round, although a victory is required here.
Croatia sit top of Group D coming into this fixture and they’ve made light work of this section so far. They were helped by some calamitous defending by Argentina, whilst Nigeria failed to turn up in their opening fixture. Zlatko Dalic’s men have struggled at previous tournaments but they finally look like they are fulfilling their potential. They have a number of players who perform at a high level on a weekly basis and they should display their quality here. They could progress deep into the tournament and there is a confidence and swagger about their play at the moment.
Iceland’s games haven’t been high-scoring so far and the previous meetings between these two teams ended 2-0 and 1-0. There shouldn’t be much between these sides and it’s expected to be a tight, cagey 90 minutes. Iceland don’t concede many goals and Croatia have been watertight at the back so far. Under 2.5 Goals is a likely outcome and can be backed at 1.57 with Intertops.
Iceland were solid against Argentina but fell behind. Four minutes later, they equalised and picked up a precious point. They have been solid at the back but haven’t managed to keep a clean sheet in either of their two games at the 2018 World Cup. Croatia may only need a single goal to secure all three points here and make it a perfect group stage in Russia. They are yet to concede a goal and are built on solid foundations. A rejuvinated Dejan Lovren will be marshalling their defence yet again and a 1-0 success seems likely. This can be backed at 6.75 with 888sport and at the same odds also at Sports Interaction.
Group D Standings
Croatia come into this game sitting top of Group D. They have the only perfect record in this section and will not want to fall short here. Argentina and Iceland have each taken just a single point from their two games whilst Nigeria have put themselves in a decent position on three points.
Against Argentina, Iceland conceded just one goal despite the opposition having 26 attempts on goal and amassing 16 shots during the 90 minutes
Iceland finished just two points above Croatia in qualifying to automatically book their place in Russia
This is Iceland’s first ever World Cup appearance
Croatia won just one of their three group games at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
They reached the semi-finals of France ’98, winning five of their seven games. They are 3.75 with 888sport to reach the semi-finals in Russia
Head to Head
These two sides have met on six previous occasions including twice during the 2018 World Cup qualifying. Historically, their games don’t tend to contain many goals and both teams have found the net on just one occasion. Croatia have won four times whilst Iceland were victorious in their latest meeting. The pair played out a goalless draw in November 2013.
Iceland 1-0 Croatia – 11/06/2017
Croatia 2-0 Iceland – 12/11/2016
Croatia 2-0 Iceland – 19/11 2013
Iceland 0-0 Croatia – 15/11/2013
Gylfi Sigurdsson – The midfield schemer has had a quiet season in the Premier League but he is a tour-de-force at international level. He was key to Iceland’s progress at Euro 2016, although their team-work and collective effort was the main reason for their unexpected success. Iceland score plenty of goals from set-pieces and Sigurdsson is hugely effective from a dead ball situation.
Luka Modric – Zlatko Dalic has opted to play Luka Modric in a more advanced position and it seems to be paying dividends. The ageless midfielder is still competing at the top level and dictates the tempo and flow of every game. He could help his side reach of the round of 16 for the first time since 1998.
at 01.00 p.m – Rostov-on-Don Stadium