Iceland-Croatia Betting Preview: Niko Kovac's side to struggle in Reykjavik

The World Cup play-offs take place this week and our tipster is backing Lars Lagerback's side 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 managed to score 17 points from these games.

A draw in the last group game secured Iceland's place in the play-off stages, with Croatia comfortably finishing in second position behind runaway winners Belgium in Group A.

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 to beat them 2-0 at Hampden park four days later, so this match will be new coach Niko Kovac's first in charge of the senior national side having previously coached the Under-21 team.

Fans and players alike will be disappointed his side didn't put up more of a challenge to Belgium. Impressive as the table-topping side were, Croatia losing four of their last seven matches in all competitions made it somewhat easy for Marc Wilmots' men. Despite that run, Betway price Croatia 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. 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).

A bet that stands out in this match is Iceland double chance at 4/5 (1.80) with Betway. Lagerback's side have looked solid this year, and come into this match looking like a tough team to beat.

With Croatia struggling for confidence and results and a new coach at the helm in his first match in charge and under pressure to deliver, it's certainly worth backing Iceland to get a positive result out of this play-off match.

Iceland double chance for a 1pt stake at 4/5 (1.80) with Betway

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