Prediction: Croatia vs Nigeria - My Arsenal Blog

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Prediction: Croatia vs Nigeria

Posted on June 15, 2018 by Veselin Trajkovic

Prediction: Croatia win

Best odds: 3/4

Bookmaker: Coral

Croatia and Nigeria open their World Cup campaigns against each other. The game should be an interesting clash of European and African football, though a lot of Nigerians also play in Europe. The two teams play in group D of the tournament, which also contains one of the title favourites Argentina and Iceland, one of the nicest surprises of Euro 2016.

The strength of the group’s remaining two teams will certainly represent strong motivation for both sides, and the fact that both Croatia and Nigeria like to play attacking football is also promising.

Croatia

The Croats have a superb team, there’s no way to deny that. Danijel Subašić is an excellent goalkeeper, Vršaljko, Lovren, Strinić  and Vida are very good defenders, and there is not much point in talking too much about Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitić and the Real Madrid duo – Luka Modrić and Mateo Kovačić. Up front, the likes of Madžukić, Rebić, Perišić and Kramarić are more than capable of troubling any defence.

Team News

Coach Zlatko Dalić should have all the players at his disposal and there’s a number of formations he could choose. Modrić and Rakitić are expected to dictate play from the middle, while  Madžukić and Rebić are likely to start up front.

Nigeria

A number of Nigerians play or have played in the Premier League, and though Croats are the favourites, we know well what we can expect from Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi, and also John Obi Mikel, Victor Moses, Wilfred Ndidi and Odion Ighalo. For African nations football is rising rapidly in terms of popularity, importance and quality, and it is to be expected that not one of them will go out of this tournament without leaving their mark.

Team News

Young attacker Moses Simon has been forced to pull out of the tournament due to injury, and there have been worries about the fitness of Ndidi, but the Leicester midfielder should be fit in time. However, he might start on the bench should he be deemed not ready for the full 90 minutes.

Things to consider

  • The two teams have never met before. While Nigeria fared differently against different European sides, Croatia played an African side only once, a 4-0 win over Cameroon in the group stages of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
  • Despite mostly dominating their games, Croatia scored only scored 15 goals in 10 qualifying matches – the most modest output of any European team to qualify for the tournament.
  • On the other hand, Croatia conceded only four goals in those matches, which is impressive.

Prediction: Croatia win

Best odds: 3/4

Bookmaker: Coral

1 to “Prediction: Croatia vs Nigeria”

  1. Edwin says:

    nig 1-2 Croatia



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