Matt Pitt | Fri 15/06/2018 - 09:29 EDT

Croatia vs Nigeria Odds

Croatia vs Nigeria Odds

Croatia vs Nigeria World Cup Odds

My Team's Next MatchCroatia

Croatia versus Nigeria happens on Saturday 16th June at 20:00 local time at the Kaliningrad Stadium and should be a fiercely fought contest between two sides who could cause any opponents problems. Whoever wins this game will almost certainly qualify for the knockout stages.

Croatia vs Nigeria Prediction

Draw (1-1) +550 Bet Now

Croatia start their match against Nigeria as -120 favorites and that looks a fair price simply because Croatia have so many stars among their ranks. Nigeria, at +350, are capable of causing an upset thanks to their never say die attitude. While Nigeria seem to have shored up their defense, they have not played any sides with Croatia creativity in it and that should see Croatia claim all three points in this fixture.

The Croats do not score that many goals so the +500 on a Croatia 1-0 victory looks like the best scoreline to bet on.  Neither side will want to lose because they know that will make qualifying extremely difficult. Argentina will likely top the group and Iceland are no pushovers. If you think this will be a cagey affair, we would not deter you from backing the draw at +250 or betting on a 1-1 draw at +550.

Croatia vs Nigeria Key Bites

  • Off the field problems threaten to derail Croatia
  • Croatia need Luka Modric to be at his brilliant best in all their games
  • While Croatia have a wealth of stars, they seem to struggle as a team
  • Nigeria has lost three of its previous four matches
  • Defensive frailties are worrisome for Nigerian fans

Croatia are a team that should perform better than they do simply because of the players they have at their disposal. The same could be said of Nigeria who gained plenty of neutral fans back in 1994 when they took the World Cup by storm.

Nigeria will be full of confidence going into this match as they reached the final of the African Nations Cup and, in November 2017, came from two goals down to beat Argentina 4-2 in a friendly. Whoever wins this game will almost certainly qualify for the knockout stages.

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Croatia vs Nigeria Betting Trends

Croatia

  • Croatia were priced +3300 to win the World Cup before the tournament started.
  • Croatia has never played Nigeria previously.
  • This is the fifth World Cup finals that Croatia has qualified for.
  • Croatia finished third in the 1998 World Cup, their best-ever finish.
  • Croatia has not progressed passed the group stages since that third-place finish.
  • Seven wins, two draws and seven defeats make up Croatia’s 16 World Cup finals games. They have scored 21 goals and conceded 17 in those 16 matches.
  • Croatia finished second to Iceland in their qualifying group and qualified via the play-offs with a 4-1 aggregate victory over Greece.
  • Mario Mandzukic was Croatia’s top scorer with five goals.
  • Croatia’s biggest win was a 10-0 victory over San Marino in June 2016.
  • Croatia has lost by four goals twice: a 4-0 away defeat to Italy in 1942 and a 5-1 loss away to England in September 2009.

Nigeria

  • Odds of +20000 were available on Nigeria winning the World Cup before the tournament started.
  • Nigeria has never faced Croatia, not even in a friendly match.
  • This is the sixth World Cup finals that Nigeria has qualified for.
  • Nigeria has reached the Round of 16 three times, including at the 2014 World Cup.
  • Nigeria has played 18 matches at World Cup finals, winning five, drawing three and losing 10 of them. They have scored 20 goals and conceded 26 during those 18 games.
  • Nigeria eased through their qualifying group with four wins, one draw and one defeat in six games. They conceded six goals and scored 11 during qualification.
  • Nigeria’s qualifying group saw them compete with Zambia, Cameroon and Algeria.
  • Victor Moses scored three goals during qualification. Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi and John Obi Mikel each scored twice.

Croatia vs Nigeria World Cup Preview

Croatia has plenty of off the field problems and these are threatening to derail the team’s ambitions of progressing as far as possible in the 2018 World Cup.

Defender Dejan Lovren and star midfielder Luka Modric have seen their popularity plummet with fans after their names were dragged through the mud after they were accused of perjury in a tax fraud case. This is likely Modric’s final World Cup, his first as captain and Croatia need him to be at his brilliant best and reproduce the form that saw him labelled the “Croat Cruyff.”

The Croats have some exceptional players in most areas of the pitch and if recently appointed coach Zlatko Dalic can gel them as a team instead of individuals then Croatia will be a major threat to any team they face in this competition.

In Ivan Rakitic they have a world class central midfielder with a wide array of passing ability who can chip in with goals, while Ivan Perisic is comfortable on either wing and is deadly with the ball at his feet. Croatia are reliant on Mario Mandzukic up front but the Juventus striker shoulders this burden well and is usually well supported by his teammates.

Perhaps slightly worrying, with Argentina being in this group, Croatia have not fared well against South American opposition of late. They slipped to a 2-0 defeat against Peru and lost to the same scoreline against Brazil.

Results / FixturesCroatia

Nigerian squads often have a number of talented individuals that do not gel perfectly as a team, much like Croatia. Their former player and coach sunday Oliseh has warned his countrymen they need to be more organized and disciplined if they are to progress to the Round of 16 at this World Cup.

Nigeria’s warm-up for the finals has been far from perfect. After coming from 2-0 down to beat Argentina 4-2 and then beating Poland 1-0 away, the Super Eagles lost three of their next four games, including a 2-0 loss to Serbia, a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Czech Republic and a 2-1 loss to England where they played well in the second half but were played off the park in the first. A disappointing 1-1 draw with the Democratic Republic of Congo is sandwiched between those defeats.

There is a distinct difference in the quality of Nigeria’s attack and defense but this is not unusual for Nigerian teams. Coach Gernot Rohr likes to play Odion Ighalo up front on his own, supported by Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho and Victor Moses in what is an exciting frontline. Leicester City’s Ahmed Musa is often deployed as an impact substitute and knows Russia like the back of his hand having spent four-and-a-half seasons with CSKA Moscow.

Many of Croatia’s best players play for Europe’s elite clubs and that gulf in class will likely show in this game. Nigeria has struggled against England and Czech Republic so will almost certainly have a difficult time against this star-studded Croatian team.

Bovada price Croatia at -140 to win and they do look fair odds in our eyes. Nigeria showed they can defend as a unit when they frustrated England in their 2-1 defeat so this game could be quite a tight affair. This is making us look at the Croatia win and under 1.5 goals at +425 and a 1-0 Croatia victory currently available at a potentially bankroll-boosting +500.

Results / FixturesWorld Cup

Category : Betting Picks

Tag : Soccer , World cup

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