Croatia World Cup 2018 Betting – Odds, Group & Prediction

28th March 2018 | World Cup Betting category: Football World Cup News
Football World Cup News

Croatia had to come through the play offs to get to Russia 2018 after being toppled by Iceland in their qualification group. But all that matters, in the end, is that they are heading to Russia and they will be going there as a dark horse that most of the big guns would feel just a little uncomfortable in having to face.

How Croatia qualified

So it was the play off route from UEFA for Croatia after they finished second in their group to Iceland. Croatia collected twenty points from their campaign with a W6 D2 L2 record and it was really defeats out at Iceland and Turkey which ruined their chances of getting the top spot in the end. It was a gripping group actually, which went down to the wire and Croatia had a tricky final match to contend with in qualification.

They were level on points with the Ukraine heading into the final round of matches but because of their superior goal difference, they just had to avoid defeat. Still, away games in qualifiers like that are never easy, but the Croatians held their nerve very well to collect a 2-0 win there, securing runners-up spot in the group. But it wasn’t enough to catch up with Iceland who made it through to their first ever World Cup.

Croatia were drawn against Greece in the qualification play offs, a tie that they were always favourites to win and they did so easily as well, securing a powerful 4-1 home victory in the first leg to set themselves up for success. They just played out a 0-0 draw in Greece for the second leg to coast through.

World Cup 2018 Group Stage

Interestingly Croatia will be paired up again with Iceland at the World Cup, the side which beat them to the top spot in qualification. That will be their final match of the group though on June 26th and back in the qualification group, Croatia and Iceland traded home wins. Croatia get a World Cup opener against Nigeria on June 16th a match they are 17/20 odds at bet365* (betting odds taken on March 29th, 2018 at 2:38 a.m.) to take a win in. That would at least ease some pressure off them a bit as they head into their second game which is a tough one.

Croatia will face Argentina on June 21st in what is bound to be a tight, tense tussle. There is going to be high stakes running on that one and in the early markets, Croatia were running as underdogs against the Albiceleste. However, Croatia are a very good technical side and they have a wonderful midfield which includes captain Ivan Rakitic, Luka Modrić, Ivan Perišić and Marcelo Brozovic. They will actually set up as one of the better midfields in the entire competition and that will make them dangerous.

With Argentina boasting an array of superstars in their squad though, Croatia are 9/4 second favourites at bet365* (betting odds taken on March 29th, 2018 at 2:38 a.m.) to win Group D at Russia 2018 behind the Argentineans.

2018 World Cup Odds*

Brazil 4/1, Germany 9/2, France 13/2, Spain 6/1, Argentina 10/1, Belgium 11/1, England 18/1, Portugal 25/1, Uruguay 33/1, Croatia 33/1, Colombia 40/1, Russia 40/1, Poland 50/1* (betting odds taken on March 29th, 2018 at 2:38 a.m.)

Croatia World Cup History

Being a relatively young independent country the World Cup history of Croatia is pretty limited. In their first ever World Cup as Croatia, they went to France ‘98 and kick up a heck of a storm. They finished second in their group stage to Argentina which put them through to face Romania in the round of sixteen. They go through that and then they caused a huge shock in the quarter finals as they took down Germany 3-0.

That sent them through to a semi-final against host nation France, and the brilliant run of Croatia was halted there in a 2-1 defeat despite them taking a lead in the match. They did beat the Netherlands in the third place play-off match though and that was some entrance onto the world stage. The only World Cup that they have missed since then is South Africa 2010 and their other three tournament appearances have seen them go out at the group stage in each. Their record at the World Cup is P16 D7 L2 L7.

Croatia Predictions

Croatia have a pretty decent chance of getting out their group one way or another but they could bump into France if they do finish as runner-up. That would be the worst case scenario for them in the round of sixteen. But just because of how their midfield is, they can give Argentina a run for their money in the group and actually a quarter-final exit for 9/2 odds at bet365* (betting odds taken on March 29th, 2018 at 2:38 a.m.) has some pretty big appeal on Croatia. They are a tough dark horse to face and you can see them taking on the French if that is how things pan out and make life difficult for Les Bleus who would have the pressure of expectancy on them.

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* All mentioned odds were valid at the time of writing. Betting odds are subject to fluctuations. Please check the current odds with the respective bookmaker!

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