One of the more unlikely pairings in the Round of 16 is Denmark and Croatia. Denmark was expected to be in this position. They were widely considered to be the second-best team in Group C, and many expected them to finish behind France while edging out Peru for the last qualifying spot. However, Croatia emerging as the winner of Group D was a pretty big surprise. Croatia was expected to finish second, but now they have a favorable match-up in order to make it to the Quarterfinals.
The most anticipated sporting event in the world comes around once every four years, so don’t miss any of the 2018 World Cup. This match will take place at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 1, 2018. Catch every moment of the match live on FOX.
World Cup Group Stage Betting Odds at BookMaker.eu
Denmark is known for its defense, and the Danes have come up big in the back throughout the World Cup. They have allowed just one goal in three matches, and that lone goal came off of a VAR-assisted penalty kick.
This is a classic counterattacking side, so it’s not a surprise to see that all three opponents possessed the ball for longer stretches than the Danes in the Group Stage. Peru had great chances and could have beat Denmark, but the Danes got a Yussuf Poulsen goal on the counter and held on for a 1-0 victory. Talisman Christian Eriksen found his way onto the score sheet with an early goal in the 1-1 draw with Australia, and then they held firm at the back for a 0-0 draw with France.
Croatia have looked very sharp thus far. They grabbed the full three points in all three of their matches and none of those victories were flukes.
They were able to totally control the action against both Nigeria and Argentina. Croatia snagged a 2-0 win off of Nigeria in their opener and followed that up with a 3-0 win over Argentina in their second match. Luka Modric was superb in both games, while the midfield played inspired football. They sat most of their stars for some, or all, of the last match against Iceland, but Croatia still managed to pick up a 2-1 victory after an Ivan Perisic goal in the 90th minute.
Player to Watch
Eriksen is going to have to make things happen for Denmark. He was their superstar during qualifying, and he is the one player who can make things happen out of nothing on offense. Denmark have only scored two goals at the World Cup, and they don’t really have an option outside of him. A lot will be riding on his shoulders in this match.
Matchup to Watch
Croatia’s midfield has been phenomenal at this World Cup. They have been great at denying dangerous players the ball in space, and their play has largely been the reason that this team has not allowed a goal in the run of play. Their physicality has frustrated their opponents too. Ivan Rakitic is the leader in this regard, and his ability to challenge for possession and then set something up has made him a star.
Denmark will have a tough time getting the ball into Eriksen’s possession. They don’t have players that are capable of forcing the issue, and that will hurt.
Free Soccer Betting Pick
I love the under in this match. Denmark is largely going to go into a shell and counter when they can, while Croatia’s midfield will slowly choke the life out of the Danish attack. Eventually, Croatia will get a goal and move on to the Quarterfinals, but the under is the safer bet here.
World Cup Round of 16 Odds: Croatia 1, Denmark 0
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