Argentina looked very one-dimensional in their opener against Iceland as a Lionel Messi missed penalty meant they had to settle for just one point. With them up against another, arguably better, European side the pressure is certainly mounting on the South Americans as a loss will make qualification an uphill battle. Croatia meanwhile, eased passed Nigeria with Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic pulling the strings, with the former delivering the corner for their first goal while scoring their second from the penalty spot.
Since 2012, Croatia have played eight matches against teams we had ranked inside the world’s top 10 and there’s rarely been much in the games as they’ve gone W2-D1-L5 but with their only two defeats by more than one goal both coming against Brazilian sides ranked inside the top two at the time. Moreover, Argentina have drawn three of their last five games against sides we ranked inside the world’s top 25 and a stalemate looks the most likely outcome.
Jorge Sampaoli’s men were very poor through qualification as they almost failed to even make it to the World Cup. They found the back of the net just 19 times across their 18 matches, with six of their last seven against our top 25 ranked sides seeing fewer than three goals. What’s more, Croatia saw fewer than three strikes in their last match with Nigeria, which was the eighth consecutive time that’s happened in matches they’ve played outside of Croatia.
Argentina have drawn four of their last 11 matches against UEFA nations. In fact, eight of these matches have seen fewer than three goals while all their last five competitive matches with European sides have seen the same, as their last one finished 1-1. Croatia, since the start of qualification for Euro 2016, have drawn six of their 13 matches against our top 25 ranked teams, and four of these finished with the same 1-1 score.