Our prediction for this World Cup 2018 match:
Kaliningrad Stadium will host Saturday’s football game between Croatia and Nigeria. Despite failing to impress in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, the Croats eventually booked their place at the showpiece tournament in Russia, but they will have to improve their game if they are to make it to the last 16. Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic are undisputedly the team’s key players and all eyes will be on the duo when Croatia take on Senegal in their World Cup opener. Nigeria, on the other hand, aim to put an end to their four-game winless run, but they will have a big fish to fry in Saturday’s clash against the star-studded Croatians. A man to watch in the African team will be Chelsea winger Victor Moses, but given the Super Eagles’ poor form, we are tempted to put our money on Zlatko Dalic’s men this time out.
Highlighted Player (Luka Modric):
Luka Modric is regarded as one of the best central midfielders in world football. The Croatian ace is a product of Dinamo Zagreb’s youth school and it has to be noted that he played 94 league games for the Modri between 2003 and 2008. In 2008 he signed a six-year deal with Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £16.5 million.
Luka made his Tottenham debut on 16 August, 2008 in a 2-1 loss to Middlesbrough at Riverside Stadium. The Croatian star scored only 13 goals in 127 league appearances for the Spurs, but he is well known for his brilliant passing. In 2012 he signed for Real Madrid for a fee of £30 million and he made his debut against Barcelona in the 2012 Spanish Super Cup, return leg.
Modric quickly established himself as a first-team regular and, no doubt, he helped the capital club win two Champions League trophies (2013/2014, 2015/2016). You should bear in mind that he was named Croatian Footballer of the Year in 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2014.
Highlighted Team (Nigeria):
Nigeria is an African national football team controlled by Nigeria Football Federation. The Super Eagles are well known for their green and white kits, but they played some descent football in the past as well. The Nigerians did well to qualify for six of last seven World Cup finals (as of 2018), with the team reaching the last six of the showpiece tournament three times.
Jay-Jay Okocha, Taribo West and Nwankwo Kanu are the most famous footballers that played for Nigeria. The Super Eagles played their first official match back in October 1949 while still a Brittish colony and it has to be noted that they were ranked 5th in the FIFA rankings in April 1994, which remains the highest FIFA ranking position ever achieved by a national team from Africa.
Speaking of the African Cup of Nations, Nigeria won the tournament on three occasions: 1980, 1994 and 2013, with the team finishing as runners-up in 1984, 1988, 1990 and 2000.