World Cup Match 23: Argentina v Croatia

The final clash on Day 8 will see the powerhouse Argentinian side take on the defensive might of Croatia at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.

Stats

What’s their current form?
Argentina scored an early goal against Iceland and it looked like they would kick on for a comfortable win, however Iceland equalised just 5 minutes later and the scores remained tied at 1 all at full time.

Croatia scored a 2-0 win over Nigeria, however it wasn’t as convincing as the score line suggests. Croatia went up 1-0 just before halftime thanks to an own goal by Etebo and then in the 71st minute, scored their second goal from a penalty.

Lineups
Argentina: Caballero; Salvio, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico; di Maria, Banega, Lo Celso, Meza; Aguero, Messi.
Croatia: Subasic; Vrsaljko, Corluka, Lovren, Vida; Badelj, Rakitic; Rebic, Modric, Perisic; Kramaric.

Any interesting facts I should know?
Argentina are considered one of the better attacking sides in the world, while Croatia have a very strong, aggressive defensive structure, which many sides have struggled against.

What should I be betting on?
A draw is very probable, however Argentina’s firepower up front should see them get home.

Wolf’s Prediction

The Wolf tipped Croatia to win this group and also pushed us into the draw in Argentina’s opening match. A gallant Icelandic defence and a missed Messi penalty have all helped everything fall into place. The miss by Messi means that Argentina have failed to score multiple goals in each of their last 5 World Cup matches. It is a concerning record, especially in a crucial match against a very capable defensive unit. Strinic and Lovren were outstanding and The Wolf is expecting Croatia to win the most important battle of them all – midfield! Modric and Rakitic combined for 170 touches against Nigeria. They will make Mascherano work overtime and it will be interesting to see if Banega gets the start over Biglia. Croatia will be aware that they have never beaten a South American nation at the World Cup but The Wolf says they don’t have to. A draw will do us just fine.

Recommended Bets

Best: Under 2.5 goals ($1.60)
Other: Draw ($3.20)
Correct Score: Draw 0-0 ($7.50)


FAQ’s

TV channel, kick-off time, betting odds, tips, live stream and team news

What time is kick off? The game starts at 9pm (local time) on June 21. In Australia, kick-off will be at 4am on June 22nd.

What TV Channel is it on and can I live stream it? In Australia, the only network with live broadcast rights is SBS. SBS Radio will also cover games that aren’t broadcast. Optus Sport in Australia will broadcast every game live as well via live streaming, however it will be available to subscribers only.

What’s the team news and who’s injured? Argentina is without Fernando Gago (knee), Sergio Romero (knee) and Manuel Lanzini (knee) for the World Cup, however neither side suffered any injuries from their first round games.

Who’s the referee? Not yet announced.

What happened the last time they played each other? There have been 4 games between these sides, with Argentina winning twice, while there has been a draw and a sole win to Croatia. They last met in late 2014, where Argentina won 2-1.

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