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World Cup Qualifiers: Iceland Meets Croatia in High Profile Group I MatchPublished November 12, 2016 by Florin P
Iceland takes on its toughest opponent yet in the World Cup qualifiers, when the Euro 2016 semifinalists travel to Croatia this weekend. (5:00 p.m UK Time).
Iceland and Croatia were credited with the first chance to advance from Group I, ahead of both Turkey and Ukraine. They are currently tied for the lead and the winner of this game is very likely to take an important option to secure qualification. Croatia is under more pressure since it has home pitch advantage, whereas Iceland could settle for one point.
Not the Best Defensive Teams
The two teams have plenty of things in common and one of them is the inability to properly defend. The moment they decide to switch from an aggressive to a defensive stance, their odds diminish greatly. Croatia was so far the more prolific team, scoring eight goals and allowing just one. Having said this, they played against Kosovo and scored six goals on the road while being less effective in the other matches.
They had a hard time against Turkey and can consider themselves lucky to walk away with one point. Against Iceland, they need to play better defensively, because the visitors are deadly on the counterattack. This is how Croatia concedes most of the goals, so coach Cacic will have his work cut out for him.
Plenty to Prove for Iceland
Those who thought that Iceland was a fluke in the previous qualifying campaign were proven wrong at Euro 2016. On paper, they have an easier group now, but with a single team advancing directly to World Cup 2018, the stakes are higher.
Under normal circumstances, Iceland should sit back and try to secure one point from this match of critical importance. However, they are simply not cut out for defending on the road and will do what they do best. This is attacking for 90 minutes and that’s why the best bet for punters is to take the even odds offered by bet365 Sports on more than 2.5 goals to be scored.