Even Unibet Sportsbook, one of the best online betting sites in the United Kingdom, expects Croatia to crumble under pressure in the upcoming Nations League. Their official betting odds for winning the tournament are as steep as 18.00 (17/1). Even winning their group would be considered an upset at 5.00 (4/1).
Modric to shine again: 2022 World Cup betting predictions
Fans should not be discouraged by seeing how steep Croatia’s Nations League odds are. This only means that if Croatia keep their World Cup momentum, even a few Euros could bring high rewards for those who bet on them.
Croatia comfortable in the underdog role
This is not the first time online betting sites in the UK underestimate the Eastern European nation’s football-related hopes. Luka Modric told reporters after their win over England that English media outlets had misjudged his team’s real chances. Pundits, he suggested, “should be more humble and respect their opponents more.”
If Croatia will continue to be underestimated, as they still seem to be, it will make their job much, much easier in the Nations League. In League A Group 4, Croatia will again clash with England. Their other opponent will be Spain, another side that recently got beaten by an underdog, Russia. (For those unfamiliar with the new tournament’s system, here is an shorter and a longer explanation.)
How did Croatia get to the World Cup final?
Croatia, of course, does not hope to win the group merely by exploiting his rivals’ overconfidence. In their World Cup run, they have demonstrated individual talent and teamwork alike. This is especially true in the case of Luka Modric, who stole the World Cup Golden Ball Award from Eden Hazard and Antoine Griezmann.
Having scored merely 2 goals and given only one assist, it might not be obvious why he is the key element in the team’s game. However, other stats are more impressive: by the end of the semi-finals, he had run 39.1 miles (63 kilometers).
Consistent and reliable in every area, it would not be hard to find more eye-catching statistics, but his role as a playmaker is more important than individual output. Inarguably, Modric’s greatest asset is his ability to read the game and create opportunities for his teammates.
Head coach Zlatko Dalic also deserves praise. In the semi-finals against England, he showcased an ability to adjust his strategy when needed, changing from a 4-3-3 formation to 4-1-4-1, which eventually disorganized his opponents. Croatia’s upset against Argentina was also a lesson in football tactics, exploiting the South American team’s ill coordinated tactics in order to neutralize Messi.
Exploit Croatia’s Nations League odds before they get changed
Considering their recent successes, betting on Croatia to win the Nations League (18.00) is very tempting. The safer option, Croatia to win League A Group 4, is also profitable (5.00). Bets on the group phase are open until 20 November 2018, but it is advised to make your pick without waiting too much, as a new wave of gamblers are expected to place money on Croatia now that the World Cup has ended. In that case bookies will decrease the official Croatia Nations League betting odds.