Croatia and Nigeria engage in an intriguing first meeting between two dark horses in Group D this Sunday. Read on for a preview of this matchup below.
Betting Preview for the Croatia vs Nigeria FIFA World Cup Group D Matchup on June 16 2018
Where: Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad
When: Saturday, June 16, 3:00 PM ET
Line: Croatia vs Nigeria – view all 2018 World Cup lines
TV Broadcast: FOX
Betting on Croatia (-147)
The Croatians are going to hope Luka Modric will play like the all-world footballer that he is if they are to get out of the group stage. Modric and Croatia have talent to contend or at least look competitive on the field, but against Nigeria, they should look and play a lot better. Modric, even at 32, remains as among the top midfielders in the game today. The Real Madrid man can take control of the game with his terrific vision and playmaking, which are going to be key for Croatia. That should show against Nigeria, who have trouble controlling games over their past few matches. Modric have a number of skilled forwards to feed the ball to including Mario Mandzukic of Juventus, Ivan Perisic of Serie A club Internazionale, and Nikola Kalinic of Milan.
The Croatians recently defeated Senegal, 2-1, in a friendly match on Jun. 8. They look to get another against another African team this Sunday.
Betting on Nigeria (+385)
Ranked 47th in the world, the Super Eagles arrive in Russia hell bent on making some noise. Surely, the Nigerians are expecting to hear those noise being generated by the likes of Alex Iwobi, John Obi Mikel, and Victor Moses. Iwobi, who plays for Arsenal, has eight scores and 10 assists in 65 Premier League appearances. Mikel now plays in China, but he’s also played extensively in Europe with 249 Premier League games during which he managed to collect a goal and 10 assists as a midfielder for Chelsea from 2006 to 2017. Moses, meanwhile, has the potential to be the star of the team in Russia. The Chelsea man has 20 goals and 18 assists as a midfielder for Chelsea, and he’s going to be pivotal in driving the action for Nigeria. They have not won in any of their past four outings, but Nigeria have stayed close with England in a 2-1 loss earlier this month and even defeated Argentina back in December, 4-2.
Croatia win, 2-1.
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