Betting tip World Cup 2018: Croatia - Iceland
Saturday, 12.11.2016 at 18:00 o’clock (CET)
Duel of two EURO contenders
This Saturday Croatia and Iceland play against each other in group I of the world cup qualification. It’s a duel between two teams which made it into the elimination rounds of the EURO in France. Kick-off is November 12 at 6 PM.
Current form Croatia
Croatia was an insider’s tip for many at the EURO 16 until they were eliminated by the later champion Portugal. Ante Cacic’s eleven started into the world cup qualification with a 1:1 draw against Turkey. This result was not totally satisfying for the federation though. The team then showed their real face however in the following games. They did not only win against FIFA newcomer Kosovo (6:0) and Finland (1:0), but they also didn’t receive a single goal in these games. Iceland will be a harder opponent though compared to these two teams. Technically the Cacic-Elven is better than the northern Europeans. Croatia also has advantages considering individual qualities. They can especially count on Mario Mandzukic. The striker scored four goals in three qualification games so far. Iceland is lacking a striker like him. Additionally Luca Modric got fit in time. He can be a very important part of Croatia’s success with his high football IQ and his calmness when he has the ball. Croatia’s results in 2016 also speak a clear language. The loss to Portugal was the only one this year. They won seven games and drew in three.
Current form Iceland
Iceland plays very unorthodox, likes high balls and is a very unpleasant opponent for every team because of their physical strength. After their good results at the EURO in France a couple of players also found their way into better leagues, which should also result in a higher overall level of Iceland’s game. Unlike Croatia Heimir Hallgrimsson’s team is still very dependent on individual players though. We are for example talking about Gylfi Sigurdsson, who is currently fighting relegation in Premier League with Swansea City and therefore probably won’t be very self-confident on Saturday. But Iceland is still undefeated under new the new coach. It seems as though he is able to continue Lars Lagerbäck’s good work. In the first three games of the qualification they won against Finland (3:2) and Turkey (2:0) and they drew 1:1 against Ukraine. One could see that Iceland is struggling in away games however and their defense seemed a little bit insecure in the games after the EURO. Offensively everything is going as planned though. They scored six goals in three games. Augsburg striker Finnbogasson was especially successful with three goals.
It’s an unpleasant task for Croatia. Iceland proved at the EURO that they are able to more than just compete with Europe’s great teams. Additionally, unlike Croatia, they were able to beat Turkey. The Cacic-Eleven should be able to beat the Northern Europeans in front of their home crowd though. Our recommendation therefore: Tip 1.
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