Croatia face Iceland in the last match of Group D World Cup 2018. Already ensure escape, Croatia will play safe by lowering the coating team?
Croatia have already qualified for the last 16 after beating Nigeria and Argentina in the first two matchday group phases. Successfully scored five goals and has not conceded so far to show Croatian quality. Moreover, three goals of which lodged in the Argentine goalkeeper. Being one of the teams with the most solid performance in this 2018 World Cup, Luka Modric et al confidence is very high.
Already qualified, Croatia is not risking anything else when dealing with Iceland. It is very likely that Croatia will bring down a lot of coating players for tonight’s game.
Moreover, there are six Croatian players (Mario Mandzukic, Sime Vrsaljko, Ante Rebic, Ivan Rakitic, Marcelo Brozovic, and Vedran Corluka) who have so far received a yellow card, five of which are starter subscriptions.
Keep playing them in a game that does not determine anything else will be a big gamble because they are in danger of absences in the last 16. Croatia could be in the present dilemma because they have not locked the group winning position and have the desire to wipe the victory. Failure to win the group will put Croatia in danger of meeting France in the top 16.
On the other hand, Iceland certainly will perform all-out to keep the odds of escaping to stay awake. Iceland’s chances of winning are wide open, especially if Croatia really does not go down with the best power. Iceland itself is currently in a bad trend after never winning in the last eight international action (D3 L5). This is a barrage of their longest winning fight failed since September 2011 (9 matches).
But full points are not enough to take Iceland to the next phase. Iceland should expect in another match that was held simultaneously Nigeria did not win against Argentina. If Nigeria series, Iceland have to win by a margin of at least two goals. Because if the record is identical, Nigeria will win head-to-head.
While if Argentina wins, Iceland also must win with identical or better scores.
Croatia and Iceland have met seven times before in World Cup qualifiers, but this will be their first duel in a major tournament. Both beat each other in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.