Iceland vs Croatia Preview, Tips and Betting Predictions
This match is over.
Final score: Iceland 1-2 Croatia
For the next match – South Korea vs Germany.
For the next match – Mexico vs Sweden.
26th June – 19:00 GMT
Group D – Rostov-on-Don Stadium, TV: BBC
Iceland vs Croatia Predictions
Croatia were excellent against Argentina and they thoroughly deserved their 3-0 success. They were given a helping hand by Willy Caballero and the opposition defence but they always looked worthy winners. They have a hugely talented squad, led by the industrious and imperious Luka Modric. The Real Madrid midfielder netted an excellent goal against Jorge Sampaoli’s side, making it two in two at the 2018 World Cup. Iceland work hard and they don’t give opposition much time and space but they don’t have the star-quality of Croatia and Zlatko Dalic’s men may just sneak this. It is likely to be a narrow victory and they can be backed at 6/5 with Betfred.
Iceland vs Croatia Preview
Iceland were excellent at both Euro 2016 and during qualifying and they appear to have continued where they left off. They beat Croatia in qualifying and will be looking to repeat that trick here in Rostov. They held Argentina to a draw in their opening game and will be relying upon their organisation and ability to close down space quickly. Unfortunately, they came unstuck against Nigeria with Ahmed Musa’s double finishing them off. They couldn’t cope with the Super Eagles’ energy and they may also struggle in the second half against Croatia.
Croatia have been excellent in Russia and will be hoping to make it a perfect three from three here. They have been disappointing at previous tournaments but they might be finally realising their potential. They picked up a straightforward victory against Nigeria before taking full advantage of Argentina’s frailties just five days later. Luka Modric is relishing his advanced role in this Croatian team. They will be looking to seal their qualification to the knock-out round and a point would be enough.
Iceland are incredibly tough to break down. Heimir Hallgrimsson’s side may have lost the shot count heavily at Euro 2016 and during their opening 1-1 draw with Argentina but they rarely get caught out at the back. They have an incredible knack of weathering a storm and they should be able to keep Croatia at arms length for the majority of the 90 minutes. Croatia are yet to concede in Russia and they will be looking to preserve their perfect record at the 2018 World Cup. It could be decided by a single goal and Under 2.5 Goals looks one of the best bets in this game. It is 8/13 with Bet365.
Iceland vs Croatia Odds
Group D Standings
Croatia have picked up six points so far and sit top of the Group D table. Argentina have picked up just a single point from their opening two matches and are in danger of being eliminated. Nigeria have given themselves a decent chance of qualifying and sit in second place. Iceland need to win this game to give themselves a possibility of progression.
- Against Argentina, Iceland conceded just one goal despite the opposition having 26 attempts on goal and 16 shots during the 90 minutes
- Iceland finished two points above Croatia in qualifying
- This is Iceland’s first ever World Cup appearance
- Croatia won just one of their three group games at the 2014 World Cup
- They reached the semi-finals of France ’98, winning five of their seven games. They are 11/4 with Royal Panda to reach the semi-finals in Russia
Head to Head
These two sides have met on six previous occasions including twice in qualifying. 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 creative midfielder had a poor season at Everton, scoring just four times but a succession of different managers didn’t help. He is creator-in-chief for Iceland and netted four times during qualifying although he didn’t find the net against this particular opposition. He is capable of swinging any game in his side’s favour, although some critics have pointed to an over-reliance on the former Swansea man.
Luka Modric – Modric isn’t getting any younger but he still hugely influential and goes about his business quietly but effectively. He isn’t universally popular with the Croatian fans but he plays an important role in the side and keeps things ticking over. He has been moved to a more advanced role and is relishing the opportunity to get further forward.
19:00 – Rostov-on-Don Stadium