On the third day of 2018 FIFA World Cup, matches involving teams from the groups C and D will begin. One of the matches is going to be between Croatia and Nigeria, where both teams will play their very first World Cup 2018 match.
Now, we know what you’re saying. Croatia seems like a much better team, so this match should be a no-brainer. However, Nigeria’s current team is at its height today in terms of their gameplay potential.
So, it could still be anyone’s game, especially since Croatia hasn’t been doing perfectly in the qualifying matches.
Croatia Nigeria Match World Cup 2018
According to the last year’s FIFA rating, Croatia was the 18th best football team in the world. Nigeria, in comparison, was somewhere around the 40-mark. So, the gap is considerably wide between the two teams.
Looking at Croatia separately, their performance so far wasn’t perfect. The team has been losing quite a bit lately. A little too much for a team that was considered in the top 20 of national teams, in fact.
They have lost against Iceland, Peru, Estonia, Chile and China since the beginning of 2017. With such a performance, we wouldn’t be surprised if Iceland beat them again in the World Cup.
They do have a very strong front with many attacking players, so that’s what they’ll have to use to defeat Nigeria.
The latter, on the other hand, has racked up a number of ties but very few losses. These only include defeats to teams such as:
- South Africa
Of course, one might argue that their opponents were much easier too, so we can’t really say that Nigeria is likely to beat Croatia, anyway.
Croatia Nigeria Group Match Odds
The current fixed odds on the outcome of this match as the tournament hasn’t kicked off yet are roughly:
- Croatia to win odds: 19/20
- Tie odds: 23/10
- Nigeria to win odds: 16/5
This truly shows the difference between these two teams and how much one is favoured above the other. This isn’t surprising despite the recent failures of Dalić’s team.
Croatia has won 3rd place at FIFA World Cup 1998 while Nigeria has never advanced to quarter-finals before.
Nigeria is also most likely to lose their group, though if they get lucky, Group D isn’t impossible to advance from. Croatia is one of the teams that Africans should be able to defeat with enough work and dedication.
That being said, you shouldn’t be afraid to place that 16/5 bet because the chance isn’t too small to be almost impossible. Who knows? Maybe Nigeria will become your new favourites after this match?
Nigeria Croatia Football Team History
Unfortunately, we can’t compare the history of these two national teams competing with one another. The reason for that is very simple — the teams have never met before in an official international football match.
If they had, however, both could have won depending on the period. Nigeria has been in the top 5 football teams in the world in their time, even though it really was long ago.
While we don’t think Croatia and Nigeria are two equal teams, we wouldn’t dismiss Nigeria beforehand. It’s totally possible for them to advance to the elimination stage and this match would be a great start for their impressive journey.