Oh Lionel! It all got rather Messi for Argentina against Iceland in their Group D, and their talisman missing a penalty hardly helps matters. They will need to raise their game against a decent Croatia side who already have three points in the bag. How will this one pan out? Let’s take a look at our Argentina vs Croatia betting tips.
When you think about Argentina, you probably think about all the attacking talents at their disposal. Messi, Aguero, Di Maria, Dybala, Meza, Higuain, Banega….it’s some seven-a-side team, anyway.
But Jorge Sampaoli, their head coach, prefers to field a more solid lineup, with a traditional back four protected by Javier Mascherano and Lucas Biglia. That meant a watching brief for Higuain and Banega, while Dybala – after an outstanding campaign for Juventus – didn’t even get on the pitch!
Even so, they looked in fine fettle in attack, creating seven shots on target, ten corners and generally looking the more likely to win the game against Iceland, with their opponents fairly disinterested in mounting attacks of their own.
As for Croatia, they enjoyed a routine 2-0 win over Nigeria that was as comfortable as it gets. Taking a first half lead through an own goal, Luka Modric converted a second half penalty to ensure that the scoreline reflected their authority.
The winner of Group D will play the runner-up of Group C; meaning a last 16 tie against, most likely, Denmark rather than France. And so the rewards for winning here are obvious.
So how will Thursday’s clash in Nizhny Novgorod pan out? Let’s find with our Argentina vs Croatia betting tips.
Before we crack on, remember to check out our FREE BETS page for the latest deals and offers from the very best sportsbooks
Argentina vs Croatia Betting Tips
To cut a long story short, Argentina are available at an odds-against price of 23/20 with William Hill to win this match.
Now, backing a side containing Messi and Aguero at such lofty odds will naturally pique the interest of the punter, and in this case the fact that Sampaoli is able to field a defence-minded side – with those two attacking stars – means he has a unit that is very difficult to beat.
You could say the same about Croatia, although you wonder how well their central defensive partnership of Dejan Lovren and Domagoj Vida will fare against an elite-level attack. After all, we have seen Lovren struggle on numerous occasions this term in both the Premier League and Champions League.
Croatia have a cracking midfield in Modric and Ivan Rakitic, but this is a side that tends to flatter to deceive on the big stage, and there are areas of weakness that can clearly be exploited.
Just to reiterate, the chance to back Argentina at 23/20 with William Hill against a solid but unspectacular opponent simply cannot be missed.
Argentina vs Croatia Betting Tips: Side Markets
We don’t expect this to be a barnburner, what with both sides set up in rather defensive fashion.
Argentina don’t score that many goals – just take a look at their World Cup 2018 qualifying campaign, and other than Mario Mandzukic the Croats don’t have an clear elite-level talent at putting the ball in the net.
So let’s try something a bit different with NetBet: let’s ‘dutch’ the 1-0 and 2-0 correct scorelines in Argentina’s favour at 23/4 and 17/2 respectively.