Croatia vs. Nigeria Prediction
Croatia and Nigeria will wrap up today's World Cup action with a Group D matchup. Will Croatia take advantage of being the favorites or can Nigeria pull off the upset?
97821 Croatia vs. 97822 Nigeria
Saturday, June 16, 2018
Kaliningrad Stadium at 2PM ET
Public Betting Information
According to oddsmakers, Croatia is a -135 favorite to win on the moneyline. Nigeria is a +425 underdog, while a draw is set at +250. The total is set at 2.5 goals.
Croatia expected to advance
While Croatia is not the Group D favorite with Argentina also being in there, it is still expected to make it out of the group stage as the second team. But that makes this a must-win, because if it doesn't securing a victory over the Argentinians would become even more important. Croatia is led by Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, who provide the heady play and spark that make their team churn. This is Croatia's fifth World Cup appeareance, with a third-place finish in 1998 ranking as its best.
Nigeria embraces underdog role
With its opponent today and Argentina the overwhelming favorites to advance out of this group, Nigeria can play without pressure and hope for the best. This is Nigeria's sixth World Cup appeareance and it has advanced to the Round of 16 three times. The top Nigeria player is John Obi Mikel, a 31-year-old former Chelsea midfielder who will be one of the most athletic players on the pitch tonight. If he can make the impact he is capable of, Nigeria has a shot at pulling off the upset.
I have to go with Croatia here. Modric might be at the end of his run at 32 years old, but he can still make a big difference. And the rest of the Croatians should be able to find their way against a solid but certainly not special Nigerian squad. This game will be close, but I see Croatia winning by a goal or perhaps even two if it adds a late insurance tally.
WORLD CUP DAILY PREDICTION: CROATIA -135