Reykjavik, Iceland

November 13, 2013 by  

Reykjavik, Iceland, The World Cup play-offs get started on Friday and our tipster is backing Lars Lagerback’s men to stay in the tie after the first leg despite their underdog status

Iceland welcome Croatia to Reykjavik with both sides looking to gain an advantage on the road to Brazil 2014.

After battling it out over 10 matches in their respective qualifying groups, both teams accrued 17 points. A draw in the last group game secured the hosts’ place in the play-off stages, with Niko Kovac’s side comfortably finishing in second position behind runaway leaders Belgium.

Croatia come into this match having lost their last two World Cup qualifiers. A run of form that meant Igor Stimac left his position in charge of the squad.

Belgium confirmed their place at Brazil with victory over Croatia in October, with Scotland piling on the misery, beating them 2-0 at Hampden park four days later so this match will be new coach Kovac’s first in charge of the senior national side, the 42-year-old having been in charge of the Under-21s squad since January.

Fans and players alike will be disappointed that his side did not put up more of a challenge to Belgium, as impressive as the table-topping side were, with Croatia making it easy thanks to losing four of their last seven matches in all competitions. Despite that run, Betway price them as favorites to win the first leg at 19/20 (1.95).

Iceland battled it out in a tough group involving Switzerland, Slovenia and Norway to secure second place in Group E. Lars Lagerback’s side are yet to qualify for a major tournament in their history and are underdogs for this tie, with Betway pricing them at 3/1 (4.00) to win this match.

Iceland come into this match unbeaten in their last five matches, winning against Albaina and Cyprus in that run, so they should feel confident of getting something from the first leg. Betway price the draw at 9/4 (3.25).

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