Argentina vs Croatia
Argentina had wast majority of ball possession against Iceland but the South Americans failed to get expected victory in a 1:1 draw last Saturday afternoon. They did take the lead via Aguero in 19th minute, but the Europeans managed to reply four minutes later via Finnbogason for the final result.
Rest of the game was spent in domination of Argentina, however the side didn't move the ball in completely fluid way and simply too much was depending on Messi. He missed the penalty kick in 64th minute as the Argentinians pushed more and more, while Iceland looked too comfortable with the defensive role.
As the time progressed, players from Iceland threatened less and less, being defensively rock solid side on that day. There's no other option for the Argentinians but to seek a victory here as any other result may narrow their chances a lot.
Aguero, Pavon and Messi should be their options in attacking part of the field. It's quite uncertain in which formation will they be set here, since the team does require some changes after their poor performance in the first round. They could easily switch to a three man defense.
Croatia got what they were looking for in their World Cup opener last Saturday evening. They managed to get important and comfortale 2:0 victory over Nigerians and can approach this game just a bit more relaxed now.
The side didn't play that well, it surely wasn't very impressive performance nor the game - but simply did what was needed as they showed superiority. Especially superiority in pshysical, tactical and technical class. An own goal after a set piece taken brought them into the lead in 23rd minute.
Nigerians tried to react but lacked that finishing touch, as Croats doubled up their lead in 71st minute after a penalty kick taken by Modric. Even though they made a perfect start here, the side can't afford to lost here as everything will be depending on their game against Iceland in case of a loss here.
Croats are set to play in 4-2-3-1 formation. Mandzukic should lead their attack. Perisic, Modric and Rebic should be offensive options behind him. Brozovic may replace Kramaric for this one.
- There have been under 2.5 goals scored in 10 of Croatia's last 11 games (FIFA World Cup).
I can't see this match being anything close to an easy one for the Argentinians. In comparison to Iceland, Croatian team should be even more organized, disciplined and surely with even bigger potential in attack. They have way more quality players that can make individual difference on the pitch via counter attacks. Pressure should be growing on Argentinians as the game progresses.
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Argentina vs Croatia prediction
Croatia +0.5 Asian handicap @ 1.88 with Pinnacle