Croatia v Nigeria Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 16th June
Ben Levene (@BenLevene96) previews Croatia v Nigeria and provides us with his best bets for Saturday’s Group D game, analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
Croatia v Nigeria Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 16/06/18
- Time: 20:00
- Venue: Kaliningrad Stadium
- Channel: ITV
Croatia changed their manager late on in qualification when Zlatko Dalic replaced Ante Cacic. It paid dividends as they progressed past Greece in the play-off to book their place this summer.
We must note Croatian issues of the pitch. The influential Zdravko Mamic has been found guilty of making illegal profits on transfers, in a case that has seen the likes of Luka Modric appear in court. How much of a role off-field issues will play remains to be seen.
Croatia came back to beat Senegal 2-1 in their final warm-up game following a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Brazil. They conceded just four goals in ten qualification games.
It’ll be interesting to see what combination of Nikola Kalinic, Mario Mandzukic and Andrej Kramaric get the nod alongside Ivan Perisic in a front-three. Dalic has opted to use Luka Modric as a ‘ten’ with Ivan Rakitic operating from deeper.
Nigeria progressed through their CAF qualification group with relative ease but won just one of their three away games.
African sides generally don’t have a great World Cup record. In 2014, two African sides progressed through qualification, but that figure stood at just one in the seven consecutive tournaments prior.
The goalkeeper situation is also a worry. Francis Uzoho made an error against England and has more appearances for Nigeria than for Deportivo’s first-team. Most of his game time has been in the Spanish third-tier.
Both sides have a 23-man squad to select from.
Potential Croatia Starting XI: Subasic; Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic; Brozovic, Rakitic; Kramaric, Modric, Perisic; Mandzukic
Potential Nigeria Starting XI: Uzoho; Abdullahi, Troost-Ekong, Balogun, Idowu; Ndidi, Onazi, Mikel; Iwobi, Ighalo, Moses
Head To Head
- This is the first meeting between the nations.
Key Stats & Facts
- 11 of Croatia’s last 14 games have seen Under 2.5 goals.
- Nigeria lost both of their warm-up games.
- Nigeria’s last three games in qualification saw Under 2.5 goals.
- Croatia 3/4
- Draw 11/4
- Nigeria 9/2
Croatia boast the superior quality and are capable of breaking down a vulnerable Super Eagles backline. They have enough in midfield to get the job done.