On Saturday night, Croatia and Nigeria face-off in Group D of the World Cup, with both teams looking to kick-off their campaign with a victory.
Croatia have qualified for four of the last five World Cups, only missing out on World Cup 2010 in South Africa. Their best performance at a finals remains their third-place finish at France ’98, their first-ever appearance at the World Cup after independence. However, they have failed to make it out of their group since their 1998 achievement.
Their road to Russia was not simple, as they finished second in their qualification group behind Iceland. However, a comfortable play-off victory over Greece ensured the talented Croats would be appearing at Russia 2018.
Zlatko Dalic’s side has been inconsistent of late in their friendly warm-ups while winning just two of their last five international games. Last time out, they recorded a 2-1 win over Senegal.
Croatia’s recent games have been low scoring with under 2.5 goals scored in nine of their last 11 games, including four of their last five matches.
This summer’s World Cup will be Nigeria’s sixth appearance in the last seven World Cups. The African nation has managed to make the last 16 of the competition on three occasions.
The Super Eagles were impressive in qualifying, becoming the first African team to book their spot in Russia. The most impressive result was a 4-0 win over Cameroon.
Gernot Rohr’s side has failed to win any of their last four friendlies, suffering three defeats in the process. Interestingly the three defeats were against European teams in Serbia, England and the Czech Republic.
The Super Eagles recent games have been low scoring, with under 2.5 goals scored in four of their last five games.
This game could prove to be vital in both sides’ chances of qualifying for the last 16. Sportseconds predicts that Croatia will record a win in a high scoring clash.
Croatia vs Nigeria Betting Tips
Under 2.5 goals
Croatia to win