Croatia vs Denmark preview, betting tips and prediction
Croatia -1 @ 13/5 with Coral
Billed as dark horses before the World Cup, Croatia have been dazzling so far, being one of the only teams in the tournament to win all of their matches so far. They didn’t have to get out of second gear to get past Nigeria before dismantling Argentina in a showing that emphatically announced their very real credentials to the other teams in the competition. A late win over Iceland showed that they have a ruthless streak in them. It feels as though we’ve been here before with Croatia. Euro 2016 promised much and ended up delivering little. They bossed their way through the group stages before going out to Portugal in the round of 16. They have to make sure that doesn’t happen again when they take on Denmark, a team they should beat.
Denmark have proven to be competitive and tough opponents for every team they’ve encountered in the World Cup so far. Apart from maybe France. Their tie against France should be erased from the minds of everyone unfortunate enough to have sat through it. It was a sham match, a marriage of convenience. And the convenient thing for Denmark was guaranteed passage to the next round. But will such an uninspired display end up doing more damage than anything else? They’ll need to get their heads straight to prepare for the dangerous Balkans.
Has any midfield performed better than Croatia’s at this World Cup? Luka Modric has been in sensational form, the leader of the team. He’s joined in the centre of the park by the likes of Ivan Rakitic and Mateo Kovacic. Marcelo Brozovic and Milan Badelj are also terrific options. Ivan Perisic has been tremendous on the flank and Mario Mandzukic has stood out with his build-up play. They haven’t really shown any weakness so far and will be feeling confident.
Much of Denmark’s hopes will depend on Christian Eriksen. The true creative force in this otherwise average Denmark side, Eriksen is a bonafide star. If Croatia man-mark him out of the game, as it is suspected they will, then their task will made a lot easier.
Croatia are expected to have a fully-fit squad for this clash.
William Kvist is the only player unavailable for Denmark.