Croatia National Team FIFA World Cup Betting

Croatia National Team World Cup Betting

Croatia National Team FIFA World Cup Betting

What can Croatia do for an encore after one of the most incredible World Cup runs that we’ve ever seen? Croatia was upwards of 30-1 to win the 2018 World Cup, yet they overcame the odds to make the final match for the first time in their history. The Blazers came up short against France, but Luka Modric was awarded the Golden Ball as the best player in the competition for leading Croatia to a runner-up finish.

Manager: Zlatko Dalic

Nicknames: The Checkered Ones, The Blazers

Confederation: UEFA (Europe)

FIFA Ranking: 16 (March 2022)

Croatia World Cup Betting Odds

To Win Group F: +250

To Win 2022 World Cup: +6000

*Odds as of May 4, 2022

Croatia Group Stage Schedule

Morocco vs. Croatia, Wednesday, November 23, 2022, 5 a.m. ET, at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor (FS1)

Croatia vs. Canada, Sunday, November 27, 2022, 11 a.m. ET, at Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan (FS1)

Croatia vs. Belgium, Thursday, December 1, 2022, 10 a.m. ET, at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan (FOX)

History at the World Cup

Appearances: 6 (first in 1998)

Best Result: Runners-up (2018)

Croatia has been arguably the most impressive country at the World Cup per capita over the last three decades. It was formerly a part of Yugoslavia for more than 60 years, but the Yugoslav Wars led to the federation fracturing into several smaller nations. Croatia did not declare its independence until 1991, and the country didn’t qualify for the World Cup until 1998.

It had been decades since a country had a World Cup debut like Croatia. Davor Suker was incredible in winning the Golden Boot, and he led Croatia all the way to the semifinals of the competition. The Checkered Ones finished runner-up behind Argentina in their group after beating Jamaica and Japan, and they proceeded to beat Romania in the Round of 16 before shocking Germany 3-0 in the quarterfinals. Suker struck first against France in the semifinals, but the French leveled a minute later and then added a second goal on their way to their first World Cup title. Croatia had to settle for a third-place finish after beating the Netherlands 2-1 in the consolation match.

We saw Croatia make the World Cup in 2002 and 2006, but they were unable to make it out of the Group Stage. The Blazers failed to qualify for the competition in 2010, and they were once again eliminated early in Brazil in 2014. Needless to say, no one saw an improvement on their 1998 performance four years ago.

It became clear that Croatia had something special early in the competition. They bested Nigeria 2-0 in their first match and hammered Argentina 3-0 in their next game. They already clinched the top spot in the group prior to their win over Iceland in the last game of the Group Stage, and they proceeded to march to the finals. Croatia knocked off Denmark in penalties in the Round of 16, and Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic came up clutch in a shootout win over Russia. Mario Mandzukic was the hero against England in the semifinals, but they just couldn’t stop France in the final.

What to Watch

Mario Mandzukic and Ivan Rakitic both retired after the last World Cup, and it will be tough to replace them. Mandzukic is the second-leading goal scorer in Hrvatska history after the legendary Davor Suker, while Rakitic was a great midfielder that was often in the shadow of Luka Modric while with the national team.

Modric will be the player to watch for Croatia after winning the Golden Ball in Russia four years ago. He is the most capped player in national team history with 148 appearances, and Modric is as skilled as anyone when it comes to setting up his teammates. Ivan Perisic is the leading active goal scorer with 32 tallies, and it will be up to Perisic and Andrej Kramaric to find the back of the net.

Nikola Vlasic, Mateo Kovacic, and Mario Pasalic are all solid midfielders, and they provide Croatia with much-needed youth. Sime Vrsaljko, Domagoj Vida, and Dejan Lovren will be called upon to solidify the defense.

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