Croatia vs Nigeria Predictions, Betting Tips and Match Previews

  • 19:00
  • Expired
  • Kaliningrad Stadium
Croatia
Nigeria

odds when tipped

odds when tipped

odds when tipped

odds when tipped

Tip Reasoning

It’s the last chance saloon for many of these Croatian players, with the golden age of their midfield slowly drawing to a close. The likes of Ivan Rakitic, Luka Modric, Nikola Kalinic, Mario Mandzukic, and Vedran Corluka are all the wrong side of 30, and this will probably be their final opportunity to lead their country to glory.

Four years ago they crashed out in the group stages thanks to defeats against Mexico and Brazil, and in Euro 2016 they only made it to the last 16 before being knocked out by eventual winners Portugal. They undoubtedly have the talent to improve on this, but they need to pull together this summer.

Croatia’s final warm up friendly saw them beat Senegal 2-1, following on from a less optimistic 2-0 defeat against Brazil earlier in June. They have now won four of their last seven games, and the fact that they were out qualified by Iceland will be a bit of a confidence blow.

Nigeria are up against it though. They finished their World Cup preparations with a 1-0 loss to Czech Republic, following on from their defeat to England to make it four games without a win. They have lost four of their last six matches, and now face the mountainous task of trying to outperform Argentina, Croatia, and Iceland in the World Cup group stages.

There are plenty of familiar names in the Nigeria squad though. No less than seven Premier League players are present, and their forward line is awash with Premier League players past and present. Odion Ighalo, Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi, and Ahmed Musa all compete for a starting berth, and it’s this attacking presence that will give them hope.

Indeed, Nigeria have scored in seven of their last ten matches overall, and they’re facing a Croatia side who have conceded at least once in ten of their last 15 matches. The favourites have scored in nine of these games though, whilst Nigeria have conceded in seven of their last ten too. This makes a Both Teams to Score bet stand out for us, so we’re backing that.

In the end we’re expecting the Croatians to emerge victorious. They have the better team and Nigeria’s recent form has been very poor, so we’re going for a Croatia Win and Both Teams to Score alongside a 2-1 correct score predictions.

Mario Mandzukic is the leading scorer in the Croatia squad, and he’s known as a player who turns up for the big occasions. His stunning goal in the Champions League final illustrates that, and his five goals in World Cup qualifying makes him our pick of the bunch for the anytime goalscorer market.

Croatia Predicted Lineup: Subasic, Vrsaljko, Corluka, Lovren, Vida, Badelj, Rakitic, Rebic, Modric, Perisic, Mandzukic

Nigeria Predicted Lineup: Uzoho, Shehu, Troost-Ekong, Balogun, Idowu, Onazi, Mikel, Obi, Iwobi, Moses, Ighalo

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