Croatia vs Denmark World Cup 2018
Croatia have been one of the most impressive teams at this year’s World Cup, having scored seven goals and conceding just once in their three victories. Aside from Uruguay, no other nation has managed a perfect record in the opening round, and their 3-0 demolition of Argentina put an exclamation point on a dominant display.
Denmark by contrast scored just twice in the group stage, and were only just good enough to qualify ahead of Peru and Australia. Against Peru, the Danes should have been punished by a late penalty, while the Australian’s dominated the second half of their encounter and were unlucky not to steal a win.
This match is a tale of two midfield maestros. Christian Eriksen is the headline act for Denmark and has been in terrific form for both club and country in recent months. His goal against Australia was one of his best on the international stage, and he will need to score in this match if the Danes are going to have any chance of victory.
For Croatia, the main man is Luka Modric, who has already bagged two goals at the tournament and remains one of the best players in his position in the world. His goal against Argentina was exquisite, and his influence on the game is as good as any of the big names.
The difference for Croatia is that they have more than just Modric who can excel. Ivan Rakitic is another superb central midfielder, and the Barcelona man can also link up with Inter’s Ivan Perisic and Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic. It’s a formidable lineup that are deserved favourites in this match, and you will get -136 in the head to head market – superb odds for an in-form team.
Denmark shouldn’t be discounted though. Whenever European teams go head to head there is always the chance of all three results, and this Danish side is capable of parking the bus against the big teams. Yet Croatia have been next level and are the pick for this match. Aside from Belgium against Japan, Croatia is probably the closest you’ll get to a sure thing in the Round of 16.
Our prediction is a 1-0 win to the Croatians. There is a small possibility that this match could go to extra time, although if it does we would still back Croatia to qualify as they have looked the fitter side in the first three matches.
Croatia vs Denmark Preview
Croatia vs Denamrk will kickoff at 2pm ET and will be played at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod.
Croatia Starting XI
- Danijel Subasic
- Sime Vrsaljko, Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida, Ivan Strinic
- Mateo Kovacic
- Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic
- Ivan Perisic, Ante Rebic
- Mario Mandzukic
How about that midfield. Modric and Kovacic play together at Real Madrid, while Modric’s partner Rakitic plays for rivals Barcelona.
Dejan Lovren has grown into a vital cog in Liverpool’s defence, and has been just as good for Croatia in this tournament.
Denmark Likely Starting XI
- Kasper Schmeichel
- Henrik Dalsgaard, Simon Kjaer, Andreas Christensen, Stryger Larsen
- William Kvist, Thomas Delaney, Yussuf Poulsen
- Christian Eriksen, Pione Sisto
- Nicolai Jorgensen
Christian Eriksen’s individual brilliance is the key here. Yussuf Poulsen will return from suspension to sure up the midfield, while Kvist and Delaney will have the unenviable task of marking Croatia’s star men.
Kasper Schmeichel is yet to concede a goal from open play in this tournament, although we’re predicting that will come to an end in this match.
Other Betting Opportunities
Remember that the head to head market is relevant for the result at the end of 90 minutes, and in the event of the match going to extra time or penalties the ‘draw’ option would be the winner.
If you think there is the possibility of extra time, the ‘will there be an overtime’ market from Sports Interaction is paying +195.
If you would rather take the option of picking which team will progress, Betway offer a ‘to qualify’ line, and are paying -250 for a Croatia win regardless of whether penalties are required to separate the teams. Denmark are paying +200, and this gives you an indication of the expected gap between the teams.
Of course, there are plenty of other markets that could provide a decent outlay, and may be a safer bet than the head to head opportunities.
Plenty of matches at this World Cup have been level at half-time, and this should continue in the tighter knockout stages. Croatia have also scored almost all of their World Cup goals in the second half, so the half-time/full-time market is a good bet. Go for Draw – Croatia @ +326.
Mario Mandzukic is a great striker and while his role is the traditional number nine who holds up play and provides for the likes of Perisic and Modric, we’re shocked he is yet to get on the scoresheet. The odds for him to score anytime in the match are +185.
Picking the correct score is tough, although there’s plenty of reward for your risk. At +367, our 1-0 prediction is the favourite, yet will still provide a decent outlay.
FIFA World Cup Knockout Stage Odds
***Round of 16
SATURDAY, JUNE 30
Match 50: France vs Argentina Odds (10 a.m. ET)
Match 49: Uruguay vs Portugal Odds (2 p.m. ET)
SUNDAY, JULY 1
Match 51: Spain vs Russia Odds (10 a.m. ET)
Match 52: Croatia vs Denmark Odds (2 p.m. ET)
MONDAY, JULY 2
Match 53: Brazil vs Mexico Odds (10 a.m. ET)
Match 54: Belgium vs Japan Odds (2 p.m. ET)
TUESDAY, JULY 3
Match 55: Sweden vs Switzerland Odds (10 a.m. ET)
Match 56: Colombia vs England Odds (2 p.m. ET)
FRIDAY, JULY 6
Match 57: Match 49 winner vs. Match 50 winner (10 a.m. ET)
Match 58: Match 53 winner vs. Match 54 winner (2 p.m. ET)
SATURDAY, JULY 7
Match 60: Match 55 winner vs. Match 66 winner (10 a.m. ET)
Match 59 Match 51 winner vs. Match 52 winner (2 p.m. ET)
TUESDAY, JULY 10
Match 61: Match 57 winner vs. Match 58 winner (2 p.m. ET)
WEDNESDAY, JULY 11
Match 62: Match 59 winner vs. Match 60 winner (2 p.m. ET)
SATURDAY, JULY 14
Match 63: Match 61 loser vs. Match 62 loser (10 a.m. ET)
SUNDAY, JULY 15
Match 64: Match 61 winner vs. Match 62 winner (11 a.m. ET)
=> World Cup Final Odds