Iceland v Croatia Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
June 23, 2018
Rostov Arena - World Cup Group D
Iceland need to win this game to have any chance of qualifying for the knockout rounds, while Croatia are already through. After a convincing victory against Argentina, this Croatian side looks capable of causing any team problems at the World Cup.
These two countries have been drawn together in World Cup qualifying for three of the last four tournaments. Croatia only conceded one goal in winning four and drawing one of those fixtures, but Iceland won the most recent meeting 1-0.
Iceland have come through their first two matches in Russia without any injuries. Heimir Hallgrimsson could change things up for this game though, following their disappointing defeat against Nigeria.
Zlatko Dalic could also make some changes to his team, but for different reasons. The Blazers have already booked their spot in the last 16, and could take the opportunity to rest a few legs before the knockouts get going.
Iceland v Croatia Preview and Predictions
Croatia only need a draw to finish top of Group D, while it’s the end of the road for Iceland if they don’t get the win. We’ve seen over the last couple of years that Our Boys are capable of great things, but this might be a step too far against a talented team.
Luka Modric showed his quality against Argentina on Thursday, and Iceland will hope he gets a rest in this one. He’s likely to start though, and it could be a long evening for the Icelandic players at the Rostov Arena with him and Ivan Rakitic dictating the play.
Hallgrimsson’s side will stick to what they do best, and get men behind the ball as they look to hit Croatia on the counter. Nigeria managed to crack their back line twice on Friday, and in truth it could’ve been more.
Iceland are the 11/5 underdogs for the win, while Croatia are available at 7/5. If they name a strong team, that looks like being a very generous price considering their performances in Russia so far. However, if you think Iceland can claim a point and go out with their pride intact, the draw is priced at 12/5.
Croatia to win to nil at 14/5
Iceland don’t carry a huge attacking threat, and Croatia will have most of the ball on Tuesday, meaning chances will be few and far between for their opponents.
Second half to be highest scoring at 13/10
This game could start slowly, before coming to life in the second period with Iceland needing to get something and potentially leaving themselves more open.