Argentina v Croatia tips: Modric and co to test Messi

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While some of the groups at this year’s World Cup are turning somewhat predictable, Group D is quickly becoming the one to watch.

Argentina’s 1-1 draw with Iceland has thrown things wide open. Defeat here would leave them in major trouble. A Croatia win would also send the European outfit through.

The Croatians aren’t without their own issues, however. A court case in their homeland could see Luka Modric and Dejan Lovren go to jail.

And they sent home Nikola Kalinic after he reportedly refused to come off the bench in their 2-0 win over Nigeria.

This will be the second time these sides have met in the group stage of a World Cup. The first clash was back in Croatia’s debut tournament in 1998 and it ended in a 1-0 win for La Albiceleste.

Our traders make Argentina and their formidable attack favourites to prevail again 20 years later at 11/10. A Croatia win is 27/10 with the draw at 21/10.

Iceland made things difficult for the Argies last time around however, and we can expect a similarly organised and disciplined Croatia to do the same.

The Croatians also know that a draw wouldn’t be a bad result for them. It would keep them firmly in contention to make the knockout stages.

So despite boasting the likes of Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Angel Di Maria, under 2.5 goals is 6/10. A draw and under 2.5 goals is 27/10.

But Argentina really do need to go for victory, otherwise their progress hinges on beating Nigeria in their final group game. There’s 29/10 about Argentina to win and over 2.5 goals to be scored.

Messi didn’t quite live up to expectations last time out – he even missed a penalty. The Barcelona ace has also been blown away by rival Cristiano Ronaldo in Russia so far, with the Portuguese star scoring four times.

There’s 3/1 about Messi breaking the deadlock tonight, with 5/1 saying he roars back into life with a brace or better.

Aguero showed his instinctive quality with an expertly-taken goal against Iceland. The Manchester City ace is 7/2 to score first once again.

Croatia aren’t without their own threats up top, however. There’s 7/1 for Mario Mandzukic to score first, and 8/1 about Andrej Kramaric.

Set-piece specialist and penalty taker Luka Modric could be one to watch too, the Real Madrid midfielder is 12/1 to score first and 4/1 anytime.

Click here for the latest Argentina v Croatia odds.

All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication

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