Preview - Croatia vs Denmark 01 July 18

Started by Harry85, Jul 01, 2018, 08:44 PM

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World Cup Last 16
Croatia vs Denmark
Monday, July 1st, 2018
03:00am, (GMT +8 Timing)
Stadium: Nizhny Novgorod Stadium

Last five matches form: L W W W W
Average goals per match last ten: 1.60
Average goals against per match last ten: 0.70
Top Scorer: Mario Mandžukić (30)

Last five matches form: D W W D D
Average goals per match last ten: 1.10
Average goals against per match last ten: 0.30
Top Scorer: Christian Eriksen (23)

The Round of 16 continues with this all European affair as Croatia take on Denmark.

It's honours even between these two, with two wins apiece and one draw from their five previous encounters. Croatia won the most recent match 2-1, but even that was fourteen years ago, and so of limited relevance here.

There's no doubt about who was the most impressive of these in qualifying, with Croatia winning three from three, scoring seven times and conceding just once.

Denmark meanwhile escaped the group stage courtesy of one win over Peru and draws with Australia and France. That France game was little more than a kickaround in the park though with a draw suiting both sides.

It is in midfield where Croatia boast a significant class edge here, with an on-song Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic being a match for any engine room in the tournament.

Denmark are a far from prolific outfit and largely rely on Christian Eriksen to produce a moment of quality. They are however very well organised and good at the back, an attribute well illustrated by the fact they have conceded just three goals in their past ten games.

Its hard not to have been impressed with Croatia overall. We do however feel they may have been just a little flattered as Nigeria and Argentina were simply awful against them. We see this being tight.

Prediction: Croatia 1 - 1 Denmark


Half time: 1 - 1
Full time: 1 - 1
After Extra Time: 1 - 1
Penalty Shootout: 3 - 2
Shots: 14 - 13
Shots on target: 7 - 4
Corner Kicks: 5 - 4
Possession: 54% - 46%

Just the one yellow card issued by referee Nestor Pitana in this one with Denmark's Nicolai Joergensen having his name taken in extra time.

There was no hanging around here, with two goals inside the first four minutes.

Denmark struck first soon after kick-off. Jonas Knudsen's long throw causing havoc in the area, with the ball eventually falling to Mathias Joergensen to fire low on goal. Keeper Danijel Subasic will be disappointed to get something on it but only send the ball over his own line, but in fairness he appeared unsighted until very late. 0-1.

Croatia's equaliser saw a defensive calamity from the usually resolute Denmark. Attempting to clear the ball, the Danish centre-back only succeeded in smashing the ball into the face of one of his own players, from where it rebounded straight to Mario Mandžukić to swivel and fire into the bottom left corner from around six yards.

Following such an explosive beginning the remainder of the contest was largely won by the defences. Croatia possibly just edging the first half, but Denmark doing much better after the break. Still 1-1 after ninety minutes though.

Extra time likewise provided little in the way of clear cut chances as a penalty shootout loomed.

Then just as we approached the closing stages of extra time, Croatia were handed the chance to win it. Excellent through ball from Luka Modric, splitting the Danes defence in half to send Ante Rebic racing through on goal. Having rounded the keeper Rebic looked certain to score only to be brought down by Mathias Joergensen. Clear penalty kick. Captain Modric stepped up only to have his effort dramatically saved by Kasper Schmeichel.

Penalty kicks for the second time in the days round of sixteen fixtures.

Schmeichel did well in the shootout, keeping out efforts from Milan Badelj and Josip Pivaric. He was however trumped by Danijel Subasic in the Croatia goal who saved efforts from Christian Eriksen, Lasse Schoene and Nicolai Joergensen. It was left to Ivan Rakitic to slot home the winning kick, and he duly obliged to send the Croatian fans into raptures.

Unlucky for Denmark who played well here, particularly in the second half.

Croatia will now meet hosts Russia in the quarter finals.

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