Our prediction for this World Cup 2018 match:
Thanks to a routine 3-0 win over Argentina Croatia clinched top position in Group D, meaning that coach Zlatko Dalic is likely to use Tuesday’s football match against Iceland to rest key players. The likes of Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic are unlikely to play against Iceland, but Zlatko Dalic has a number of high-profile players to choose from and regardless of which players will be deployed in the starting XI, Croatia are unlikely to lose this match. The Icelanders are certainly low on confidence following a 2-0 loss to Nigeria, which is probably the main reason why we are tempted to put our money on the Croats. In four of their last six meetings in all competitions Croatia defeated Iceland and, taking everything into account, we predict that Zlatko Dalic’s men are going to pick up all three points from Tuesday’s clash.
Highlighted Player (Aron Gunnarsson):
Aron Gunnarsson started his youth career at Akureyri and after making 11 appearances for the senior team, he joined AZ Alkmaar in 2006. The midfielder, who was born on 22 April, 1988, was not happy at AZ as he played no more than one game for the Dutch outfit in two seasons and, as a result, he decided to leave the club on 17 June, 2008.
The Icelandic footballer signed a three-year deal with Coventry City and it has to be noted that he scored 6 goals in 123 league appearances for the English club. On 8 July, 2011, he joined Cardiff City on a free transfer and he made 45 appearances for the Welsh outfit in the 2014/2015 Championship campaign, scoring four goals for the club.
Aron Gunnarson, though, played just 28 games for the Bluebirds in the 2015/2016 season and you should have in mind that he netted two goals for the team in the league. Gunnarson represented Iceland at the Euro 2016 finals and he made his 64th appearance for the national team at the tournament in France.
Highlighted Team (Croatia):
While the national football team of Croatia also played international matches between 1940 and 1944, they only resumed their duties in 1990 after the country gained independence from Yugoslavia. Vatreni enjoyed a remarkable start on the international stage, winning the third place on their first ever World Cup appearance in France in 1998, while crashing out in the group stage at the 2002, 2006 and 2014 tournaments.
Croatia also reached the quarter-finals at the 1996 and 2008 European Championships, proving they are rightly considered one of Europe’s top sides at the start of the 21st century. Long-serving captain Darijo Srna is their most capped player with over 130 appearances for the national team, whereas former Real Madrid striker Davor Suker is one of their most famous players and top scorer with 45 goals.
Other notable footballers to have played for Croatia include Luka Modric, Zvonimir Boban, Robert Prosinecki, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic. Miroslav Blazevic and Slaven Bilic are the coaches that have been behind team’s biggest success stories up to date.