Denmark vs Croatia
World Cup Round of 16 – July 1st at 2:00 pm E.T @ Nizhny Novgorod Stadium
Key Players: Croatia – Luka Modric / Ivan Rakitic – Denmark – Christian Eriksen
Lines and Odds – Croatia -120 / Denmark +400
CTS 365 FREE PREVIEW CROATIA VS DENMARK
Group D winners Croatia will take on the Group C runner-up Denmark during the 2nd day of Knockout round play at the FIFA World Cup. The Croatians have looked surprisingly convincing in their matches during the group stages, especially after some lackluster performances during their qualifiers. There’s no doubt that strength of the Croatia squad lies within the midfield, where the likes of Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Ivan Perisic make it nearly impossible for any opposition to dominate time on the ball. Against Argentina, Modric had his fingerprints all over the match before unleashing a screaming goal from outside the box, leading his country to a 3-0 rout of Messi & company. Rakitic also got on the score sheet, with a 90th-minute garbage-time goal on a counter-attack assisted by Mateo Kovacic. What makes Croatia even more dangerous is who they have up front to finish their chances after they build up possession, and that’s Mario Mandzukic. The Juventus forward hasn’t scored at the World Cup yet, but had 5 goals in 11 matches during qualifiers and is deadly in the air and anywhere around the box.
Amid only scoring 2 goals in their 3 group stage matches, Denmark has seen themselves through into the last 16 of the World Cup. They are led by heralded attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen, who is similar in style to Luka Modric. Eriksen plays for Luka’s old club Tottenham and was able to tally 10 goals and 10 assists for the Spurs last season. The 26-year old has also scored and assisted on Denmark’s only goals during the group stage and will look become an instant legend for his country at the end of 90+ minutes against Croatia . Despite being major underdogs in this upcoming matchup, Denmark will carry a 16-game unbeaten streak into the Round of 16. They also have star-studded goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, along with a defensive back-line that’s tough to break down, giving them at the very least a decent shot of pulling off the upset.
Sole major competition clash
Croatia and Denmark have only met once during a major competition when Croatia defeated the Danes 3-0 in the UEFA European Championship in 1996.
Best finish at a World Cup
This is the second time in the last 6 World Cups that Croatia has reached the knockout stages. Their best finish came in 1998 when they placed 3rd. Denmark has reached the knockout stages 4 times in their 5 World Cup appearances, with their best finish coming in 1998 where they lost to Brazil in the quarter-finals.
CTS 365 FREE PREDICTION CROATIA VS DENMARK
Croatia os by far the better side in this matchup, however, it’s true they haven’t seen a squad quite like Denmark at the World Cup yet, a team with a quality goalkeeper and a unified backline. With that being said, based on to what I’m hearing from the Croatian players with the press, they might be focusing on Eriksen a little too much. Expect others to step up for Denmark as they’ll manage to grab the lead and lean on their stout defense to hang on for the upset.