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15 Jun 2018

Croatia v Nigeria Betting Tips: Latest Odds, Team News, Preview And Predictions

While Dalic's team is likely to have too much for the youthful Super Eagles, Al Hain-Cole does not expect too much goalmouth action in Kaliningrad.
Croatia and Nigeria will be aiming to get off to a winning start when they meet in their World Cup opener at the Kaliningrad Stadium on Saturday.

With Argentina the clear favourites and tournament debutants Iceland the dark horses, this match could prove vital in deciding Group D.

Latest Odds
Despite winning just one of their last seven matches at World Cup finals, Croatia are  favourites with William Hill to take a big step towards the knockout stages with a victory here.

Having won just once in 12 World Cup games themselves, Gernot Rohr's team are priced at  to come out on top, and  to grind out a draw.

Team News
This tournament could represent the last chance for some of Croatia's 'Golden Generation', such as Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Vedran Corluka, and Mario Mandzukic.

Injury forced Moses Simon to pull out of the Super Eagles squad, although Wilfried Ndidi is fit to play despite concerns over his fitness.

Croatia to edge it
Given their experience and top class talent throughout the team, Zlatko Dalic's team are likely to prove too strong for an opponent whose squad is the youngest in the whole World Cup.

However, the 1998 semi-finalists have sometimes struggled to match their midfield dominance with a cutting edge in front of goal, scoring just 15 goals in 10 group qualification games  - the worst return of any European team to make it to Russia.

On the other hand, they also only conceded four goals in the group stages - a record that was only bettered by two other teams.

Predictions
Considering Nigeria have conceded just six goals but conceded only three in their last five matches, odds of  offer strong value on Croatia coming out on top despite seeing under 2.5 goals for their 14th game in 17.

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