Croatia may be seen as having one foot in Brazil after a 0-0 draw in Reykjavik in the first leg of their World Cup qualification play-off, but despite facing a nation the size of Coventry in front of their own passionate partisans there’s much to like about backing Iceland to qualify from the tie at 16/5.
Punters signing on the dotted line with bwin.com today receive a free bet to the tune of £20, which would deliver £64 if the small volcanic island complete the fairy tale journey to Brazil 2014.
It’s been five competitive games since Croatia last recorded a victory.
Already on the second manager of their qualifying campaign the Blazers failed to record a win for new gaffer Niko Kovac in Iceland in their first match under his stewardship.
In their last eight outings they’ve won only twice, each time by a single strike, with the 2-3 away success in the tiny nation of Lichtenstein the very dictionary definition of a pyrrhic victory.
Lars Lagerback’s over-achievers haven’t tasted defeat in five road games.
International minnows they may be, but Strakarnir okkar started their assault on Group E well and got better, with no loss to bemoan all season long.
Their fine form has been based around a miserly defence that has allowed a goal or less in five of their last six fixtures.
The anomaly amongst that run saw Johann Berg Gudmundsson pouch a hat-trick in a 4-4 draw in Switzerland as Iceland proved they have the attacking chops to mix it away from home with the most savvy of international foes on a going day.
Croatia have scored just twice in their last five World Cup qualifiers.
Despite possessing no shortage of creativity with La Liga locksmiths Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric within their ranks it’s been the getting of goals which has undermined the hosts’ form.
Unable to break down an Iceland side who played 40 minutes with 10 men in the first-leg, their benign forward-line is another reason to fancy the visitors can grab a result in Zagreb.