Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Prediction: Iceland vs Croatia

Verdict: Both teams to score – No

Best Odds: 11/14

Bookmaker: 888sport

With only a point next to their name after two matches, Iceland head into the final group stage clash against Croatia with faith no longer in their hands. On the side, the Vatreni are virtually in the knockout stages and will only need a point to secure their top spot in Group D.

Iceland

The tiniest nation to qualify for the World Cup has thus far been unable to replicate the success achieved at the European Championship in 2016. Iceland’s World Cup dream began with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Argentina but the Vikings were quickly given a rude awakening with Nigeria’s Ahmed Musa brace and Gylfi Sigurdsson’s missed penalty in the 2-0 defeat against the African nation.

In what’s likely to be their final World Cup appearance, Iceland will need to take a step away from their defensive-minded approach and go full force against the group leaders Croatia. The forthcoming match will be Iceland’s fifth in last four years against this Balkan nation and manager Heimir Hallgrimsson’s men will be determined to exact a revenge of the side which cost his team a place in the 2014 World Cup.

Team News

Iceland will have no selection worries for the forthcoming clash and the Vikings are expected to field their strongest line-up.

Croatia

Off the back of a compelling 3-0 win over South American giants Argentina, Croatia will head into the Iceland clash bursting with confidence and with no pressure whatsoever ahead of the final group match.

The Vatreni are already in the knockout stage of the competition and will play to secure the top spot in Group D for which they will require not more than a point. Iceland are their old customers and the two nations had already met in the World Cup qualifiers. Iceland did top the group at the time but Croatia’s comprehensive triumph over lethargic Leo Messi and co. has singled them out as one of the teams to watch in Russia. Croatia pulled off a remarkable performance, a disciplined display to beat Argentina and potentially rule them out of the World Cup. With a ticket to the next stage already booked, Croatia are likely to go a bit easier against the Vikings as Zlatko Dalic is expected to ring some changes to his line-up.

Team News

Marcelo Brozovic will miss the Iceland match due to a yellow card suspension.

Nikola Kalinic has been sent home early due to refusal to come on as a late substitute against Nigeria.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Last four matches between Iceland and Croatia saw a red card
  • Croatia are playing their fifth World Cup, Iceland are debutants
  • Iceland are without a win in their last six matches
  • Croatia won four of their last five games
  • There were under 2.5 goals scored in last four meetings between the two sides

Conclusion

Iceland need to win and hope that result from the other group game will go their way in order to maintain any chance of going through in the competition. The Vikings are likely to adopt a more attack-oriented approach which will allow Croatia to sit back and wait for their chance to hit Iceland on the counter.

Verdict: Both teams to score – No

Best Odds: 11/14

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerPredictions


SHARE OR COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE

WE RECOMMEND

Leave a Reply

avatar
 
smilegrinwinkmrgreenneutraltwistedarrowshockunamusedcooleviloopsrazzrollcryeeklolmadsadexclamationquestionideahmmbegwhewchucklesillyenvyshutmouth
  Subscribe  
Notify of
More More
Top