Morocco v Croatia: Betting Preview
by Dan King under the supervision of Lucas Mondelo
World Cup Group F: Betting Previews
We’ll bring you betting previews of the games of the group of Belgium throughout the World Cup. Keep an eye on our home page for more!
Morocco recently appointed a new manager in the shape of Walid Regragui. This will be just his 3rd contest in charge after debuting as boss for their recent friendly games versus Paraguay (0-0) and Chile (Won 2-0).
It had been a turbulent year for Morocco which fired former trainer Halihodzic. This was due to several fallouts with high-profile players, most notably Hakim Ziyech.
With the change of management, all the fan favourite players who had been frozen out now return, improving stability and morale. This included Ziyech who came out of international retirement to play for the new coach.
Despite the upheaval and uncertainty, there is a renewed sense of optimism around the team.
Morocco is more or less at full strength coming into the game. The only injury concern of significance is Nayef Aguerd who is lacking match fitness having only just returned from an ankle Injury.
Morocco is a nation rich in talent, one particularly strong area is right back where both Hakimi and Mazaroui would normally compete. Keen to get both Key men on the team sheet, Regragui proposed to the Bayern full-back that he occupies the left-back spot and Mazaroui was happy to oblige.
An experienced Croatia will be keen to replicate the success of the 2018 World Cup where they exceeded expectations, reaching the final.
The well-established and respected core of the 2018 squad remains which bodes well for this tournament. Former star striker Mario Mandzukic retired as a player but has taken a spot on the bench as their assistant manager, assuring good continuity and team spirit. The mood is positive, and confidence is high.
The star man is of course Luka Modric who at the age of 37, continues to dominate games from midfield and excite fans. This will be his final World Cup and he will hope to lead the side to the top spot in Group F.
Croatia has a couple of injury concerns with Marko Livaja and Kristijan Jakic both struggling to pass fit, though neither would command starting roles in the team.
Betting Analysis: Matchday 1 – Morocco vs Croatia
Looking first at the 1×2 market where Croatia is considered favourites @ 2.05 to get the win. Morocco is priced at 3.9 with the draw at 3.2.
Croatia -0.5/2.03 are respected in the Asian Handicap market due to their proven capability in the World Cup. The market offers Morocco +0.5 @ 1.81 with the draw on their side. This looks to be of some value for punters, the Africans have an exciting team capable of avoiding a loss. They arrive in good form and won’t fear the opponent.
Looking at the under/over goals market, the anticipation is of a low-scoring tight contest. The line is set at 2 which makes sense given that the fear of losing will weigh heavily on both sides, and a draw may suit both.