Croatia actually finished behind Iceland in qualifying but have come to form at the right time, overcoming the same opponents in their final group game despite resting half of their starting 11. They’ve now won five of their last six, with the exception against Brazil, and having scored at least twice in each of their last four, should have too much for a Danish side that struggle for goals.
Indeed, there have been just three strikes across Denmark’s matches in Russia so far (two for, one against), and the over-reliance on Christian Eriksen has been exposed with the star man picking up an assist and a goal, but not a lot coming from anyone else. Despite not being a striker he’s scored seven of their 12 goals since October (setting up another three), and with 10 of Denmark’s last 11 games featuring Under 2.5 Goals as they conceded just three times, Croatia will be made to work for a spot in the quarter finals. In fact, seven of these games saw just one goal or less, and given 10 of Croatia’s last 14 have also seen fewer than three goals, this seems like banker material.
Unlike Denmark, Croatia have a number of potential scorers, with their seven goals at this World Cup netted by six different players (although one was an own goal). The only player to grab two or more so far is Modric and we prefer him over the traditional forwards to make the breakthrough. He’s been the standout midfielder along with Brazil’s Coutinho this summer, and with the number of penalties given via VAR he stands a reasonable chance of being handed an effort from 12 yards, while his other goal was a screamer from outside the box – something which could easily be replicated if Denmark sit deeper and deeper as the match wears.