|Match 8: Group D
Croatia v Nigeria
Sun 17th June 5:00am
|Best: Croatia WIN ($1.67)
Value: Croatia WIN & Under 2.5 goals ($3.40)
Correct Score: Croatia 2-0 ($7.00)
The final clash on Day 3 will see the second Group D clash of the day, when Croatia takes on Nigeria at Kaliningrad Stadium.
What’s their current form?
Croatia has played 11 games in the 2017-18 season, 4 of which have been this year, where they have had some good performances. In March they lost to Peru 2-0, before beating Mexico 1-0. They have since played two World Cup warm up games, losing 2-0 to Brazil and then beating Senegal 2-1.
Nigeria have been very busy this year, reaching the final of the African Nations Championship at the very start of the year, going down 4-0 in the final to Morocco. They then beat Poland 1-0 in a friendly before suffering three losses and a draw leading into the World Cup. They lost 2-0 to Serbia, drew 1 all with Congo; lost 2-1 to England; lost 1-0 to Czech Republic.
Croatia: Subasic; Vrsaljko, Corluka, Lovren, Vida; Badelj, Rakitic; Rebic, Modric, Perisic; Kramaric.
Nigeria: Uzoho; Ebuehi, Troost-Ekong, Balogun, Idowu; Onazi, Ndidi, Obi Mikel; Moses, Ighalo, Iwobi.
Any interesting facts I should know?
Croatia ranked fourth in the Second Round of Qualifying, defeating Greece 4-1 in the first leg before playing out a scoreless draw in the return leg to qualify. Nigeria blitzed their qualifying group with 4 wins and a draw from 6 games, scoring 11 goals and conceding 6, making them the best attacking and defending side.
What should I be betting on?
Croatia will be the favourites here and could well hold Nigeria to nil.
The Wolf has made Croatia his value pick of the tournament and has also tipped them to finish top of Group D ahead of Argentina. It should come as no surprise that he is tipping him to win this and he lists several reason why. Croatia have dominated African nations, winning their last four matches against them. That includes a come from behind win over Senegal last week. Nigeria on the other have had a bad few months leading into the World Cup. They were pummeled in the African Nations Championship final and have lost 3 of their last 5. Scoring has been a real issue for the African nation. They have scored more than once in only 2 of their last 15 matches despite having a very capable squad. Iheanacho and Iwobi can be dangerous but The Wolf cannot see Ndidi and Obi Mikel winning the midfield battle. That honour will go to Modric and Rakitic who are two of the most accurate passes in world football. They will take control of the middle of the park and from that point on there can only be one winner. Croatia!
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 16. In Australia, kick-off will be at 4am on June 17th.
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? Both sides are fully fit and raring to go here. Croatia is arguably in better form.
Who’s the referee? Not yet announced.
What happened the last time they played each other? This will be the first time these two sides will come up against each other.