By Thomas Reynolds
Last Updated: 5th July 2018
Iceland vs Croatia, World Cup Group D
Tuesday 26th June
Kick-off: 19:00pm BST
Stadium: Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don
Live on BBC Four
Iceland vs Croatia permutations
The Croats have already qualified for the knockout rounds, dispatched of Denmark in the last 16, meaning that now Croatia will face Russia in the 2018 World Cup Quarter finals.
The odds of 1/200 about Croatia winning Group D reflect the fact that, even if they lost, Nigeria needed to beat Argentina by six goals in order to depose them at the head of the standings.
Iceland are 11/2 to qualify after losing to the Super Eagles last time out and need to win (and hope the Argentines don’t prevail over Nigeria by a two-goals-wider margin) to make the round of 16.
Iceland vs Croatia odds
Zlatko Dalic’s Balkan ballers have made light work of Group D thus far and they’re 11/10 for victory here, despite the possibility of wholesale changes to their starting XI with the next stage in mind.
Strákarnir okkar are 5/2 to get the victory that’s the least they need to progress, whilst the odds on the draw are 23/10.
For all the excitement surrounding Iceland getting to Russia and their plucky opening draw with Argentina, Heimir Hallgrímsson’s men are winless in eight games.
Iceland vs Croatia team news
Blazers manger Dalic is expected to ring the changes ahead of the round of 16, which doubtless explains the attractive odds on his side claiming victory.
Mario Mandzukic, Marcelo Brozovic, Vedran Corluka, Ante Rebic, Ivan Rakitic and Sime Vrsaljko are all one booking away from missing the next round through suspension and are unlikely to play.
Opposite number Hallgrímsson, faces an anxious wait on the fitness of defender Ragnar Sigurdsson, who came off with a head injury against the Nigerians, and Burnley wideman Johann Berg Gudmudnsson, who missed that match with a muscle issue.
Iceland vs Croatia match stats
Group-buddies in qualifying for both the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016, the form book is the punter’s friend ahead of this Rostov showdown.
Across their four meetings since 2013 Croatia have registered two wins-to-nil to Iceland’s one, with the outlier a goalless draw in Reykjavik. Understandably, ‘no’ is 8/11 favourite in the both teams to score odds.
Those recent clashes have also been rambunctious affairs, with three of them seeing a player sent off – a red card in the match can be backed at odds of 15/4.
Iceland vs Croatia key players to watch
Augsburg hitman Alfred Finnbogason has been Iceland’s most reliable source of goals with three in his last four outings – he can backed to notch anytime vs Croatia at 2/1.
Should Luka Modric make the starting XI, he could be another worthy of an anytime scorer flutter at 3/1 as he has bagged with both his shots on target at the tournament and takes penalties.
“Modric would probably be getting more attention than he is right now if he was a German or Spanish player. He would maybe even be a Ballon d’Or winner,” claimed Dejan Lovren.