2018 FIFA World Cup Prediction: Croatia vs Denmark

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Verdict: Croatia to win

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: 888sport

The second part of the World Cup bracket is especially interesting. There are not many big, established teams, and of the pairs in that half of the knockout rounds is between Croatia and Denmark. Two teams have made their biggest international success during 1990s, with Croatia finishing third in 1998 World Cup and Denmark winning the 1992 Euros. Now, both sides will be ready to fight for the place in the last eight, which would be a big thing for either side. The expected matchup would be against Spain, which could be another motivation for both teams.

Croatia

Croatia are one of the three teams to finish the group stages with all three wins. Uruguay did so in Group A and Belgium did so in Group G. Croatia, however, were not favourites to win their group, but they did so emphatically. First, they breezed past a slow Nigeria side, before thrashing Argentina in big style. A 3-0 win really brought all the best from this Croatia team, with Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic especially enjoying their fine performances that night. The last match in the group was just a confirmation of the first place, with Zlatko Dalic’s side beating Iceland with a rotated squad. Their team is now well and rested, with sky high confidence and will be going into this match as favourites. With Mario Mandzukic and Ivan Perisic as well in the side – and the up and coming Ante Rebic – Croatia’s fans will be expecting a victory and everything other than that would be a huge disappointment for them.

Team News

Croatia will be in full strength for this match. However, coach Dalic will only have 22 players at disposal, as Nikola Kalinic was previously sent home for rejecting to come in as a substitute, late into the match against Nigeria.

Denmark

Denmark were one of the sides that came through the group stages but did not inspire anyone with their performances. That is not a too big of a surprise, as Denmark seem as one of those limited sides that simply know what they can and what they cannot do and stick with that. They were uninspiring in qualifiers and they were especially uninspiring in the group stages. They scored just two goals and also conceded only one in the three group games, in one of the weakest groups of this tournament. Peru were a better side and should have won at least won a point in the match where they did not get anything from their big number of chances. Against Australia, Denmark were very shaky. They started impressively in the first 20 minutes, but then wandered off and Australia actually had decent chances to win the game. The match against France could be described as a friendly, as both teams earned a point with a 0-0 draw – France to stay atop and Denmark to keep their second place safe. Against Croatia, they will have to do much more if they are to progress.

Team News

Denmark will be in full strength for this match.

Conclusion

This should be a match where we see how good of a side Croatia can be. Denmark should be a decent oponent, but Croatia are better in every aspect – especially technically. They have a very experienced side and will be patient to break up a more of a typical Scandinavian side Denmark are. If Croatia do not win this in 90 minutes, I will be very much surprised.

Verdict: Croatia to win

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: 888sport

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