Football predictions World Cup 2018 for Argentina – Croatia
The big derby in Group D of the World Cup 2018 between the national selections of Argentina and Croatia from the second round of the group stage is on 21 June at the “Nizhny Novgorod” stadium. After the games played in the first round, the Croats are leaders in the three-point group thanks to their 2-0 victory against Nigeria, while the Argentine squad has one point after a 1-1 draw against Iceland on Saturday at the “Otkrytiye Arena” in Moscow.
Argentina entered this match with two wins in its last five games. They lost to Spain (1: 6) and Nigeria (2: 4) in controls, and in the other two games they defeated Haiti with 4: 0 and Italy with 2: 0. Equality against Iceland at the start of World Cup 2018 is not a good result for Jorge Sampaoli. Perhaps somewhat guilty of this result is also the Argentine specialist, who had to add more power in his lineup from the first minute. Juventus star Paulo Dybala did not even appear in the game until Higuain came into play until 84 minutes. Soccer players such as Di Maria and Meza were disappointed, and Messi missed a penalty in the second half. Otherwise, the match started very well for Argentina, which led to the 19th minute result through Aguero. Goalkeeper Willy Caballero, however, was not up and four minutes later Iceland equalized, and this score did not change until the end of the game. Jorge Sampaoli will surely have to change some of his performers to look Argentina otherwise. The “Gaucosos” can face the 1/8-finals against France if they do not win their group. That is why Argentina needs a crucial success against Croatia. La Albiceleste has to come in a very concentrated game, Lionel Messi to show his best, players like Dybala and Higuain to get a seat in the squad to help their country take the three points on Thursday night.
Croatia has not been successful so far in its first World Cup game, but things have changed this time. Zlatko Dalic’s team beat Nigeria 2-0, even without a bloody routine success against the African side. In general, it is difficult to distinguish a Croatian player, with the goals scored by Etebo (own) and Modric in a penalty shoot-out. Croatia has been pushing its rivals tactically, so victory here is perhaps thanks to Zlatko Dalic. Even the Croatian offensive players Perisic, Mandzukic, Kramaric and Rebic did not do much, but the team scored two goals. The first goal came after shuffling after a corner, as Oghenekaro Etebo scored an own goal and in the second half Croatia received a penalty after a corner kick that was made by Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric. In my opinion, however, Modric and Rakitic have to be much better off against Argentina in order for Croatia to make a second success. Luka Modric made only about 60 appearances in the match against Nigeria, which is quite small for his standards. Ivan Rakitic was doing his job well in defensive terms, but he had to do more in an assault in the upcoming match with the Gaucos.
Argentina is a slight favorite according to the bookmakers, but Croatia definitely has its chances in the match. In my view, the option of both teams to score is the most suitable match for the upcoming match. Argentina have always had problems in defense, and now they are without their goal keeper Sergio Romero. On the defensive, the team relied heavily on Otamendi. The Manchester City defender, however, can not keep all control under control and I expect Croatia to score a shot. The stars in the attack on the “gauchoos”, however, should also score after the weak game against Iceland a few days ago.
Good luck with our Football predictions World Cup 2018 for Argentina – Croatia