Croatia vs. Canada Betting Tips: Match result and player card bets take appeal
Match Day 2 arrives in Group F as the goalless and winless pair of Croatia and Canada meet at the Khalifa International Stadium.
This game should serve as an excellent precursor to the weekend's star-studded tie between Spain and Germany at 7pm on Sunday.
We've delved into the match markets for the 4pm kick-off and made a case for these two tips.
Croatia vs Canada Odds
2018's runners-up Croatia underwhelmed in their opener with Morocco. Croatia's 65% possession shows that they retained the ball with ease, but registering three shots fewer than their North African opponents indicates that they failed to do much with it.
It was a game that contained very little goalmouth action, which the same cannot be levelled at Canada's 1-0 defeat to Belgium. This will have been many people's first taste of watching a Canada team who've qualified for only their second ever World Cup; and they certainly didn't disappoint.
The Maple Leafs' forward line will be kicking themselves for only testing Thibaut Courtois on three occasions from the 22 shots they managed. It ended in a case of whataboutery for Bayern Munich's Alphonso Davies whose missed spot-kick could have provided a much different result if converted.
Croatia vs Canada Tips
Wednesday evening's result really does feel like a missed opportunity for the Canadians. John Herdman's side won't let defeat deter them from playing their highly energetic, pressing game. But three points on the board already against the group's toughest team would have provided them some welcome wiggle room here. As it stands Canada will likely need to win to be in with a chance of progressing to the knockout stages.
Although Croatia's last performance wasn't exactly inspiring, they were never in any real danger of losing the game either. Zlatko Dalic's men maintained a 100% record during the previous tournament's group stages - the foundations of which were built on keeping clean sheets. And from what we've seen so far, expect it to be a similar case if they are to have such success in Qatar.
Canada's fortunes vs Belgium came from matching the Red Devils' back three man-for-man and squeezing them high up the field. Belgium largely wilted when attempting to play through the press before sourcing their wing-backs to drop deeper in possession, which helped correct that problem.
This shouldn't be an issue that Croatia experience; in fact, if both teams stick with the same formations, it will be they who gain the upper hand by declaring a 4-3-3 vs Canada's 3-4-3. They'll also be a lot more confident in playing through the lines and servicing forwards Ivan Perisic, Nikola Vlasic and Andrej Kramaric.
We saw how one pass penetrated Canada, and Croatia have the credentials to heavily exploit that weakness.
Porto's Stephen Eustaquio was a busy individual on Wednesday. Belgium's three defenders were the only players to attempt and complete more passes than the midfielder, while Yannick Carrasco was the lone man to have surpassed his three completed tackles.
He posts similar tackle numbers for his club on a regular basis, averaging 2.27 tackles per game. When dissecting the 17 successful tackles he's managed in the Primeira Liga this season six of those have come in the defensive third of the pitch, nine of them in the midfield third and only two in the final third of the field. This should give you an idea of the types of positions he's taking up, and where he's committing himself to try and regain the ball for his team.
Croatia's best talent is based within their midfield three of Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic and Mateo Kovacic. As previously mentioned they'll have the lion's share of possession and if Canada are to nullify their opposition's greatest threat, Eustaquio may have to resort to extreme measures.
He's picked up four yellows, including a second booking in a league game this term. And given the stakes of this encounter, he'll be the kind of player to leave everything out on that pitch.
Many firms haven't priced up all of their markets at the time of writing, so it could be worth shopping around at a later date if you're backing this one.
Did you know that bet365 pay your team out as a winner if they go 2 goals ahead at any time in the match (available on over 80 leagues and competitions, T&C's apply). Find out more on our bet365 offers page.