Game Preview: Iceland vs. Croatia - World Cup Qualifications Playoff - 15/11/2013

World Cup Qualifications - Iceland vs. Croatia - Matchup - Team CrestsIceland are hosts to Croatia in the first leg of the World Cup qualifiers playoff on Friday, November 15th, 2013 in Reykjavik. The second leg match will be played in Zagreb on Tuesday, November 19th.

Iceland is a nation in trance ahead of the clash with Croatia. This is the closest they have ever been to the World Cup finals. To make it all the way to Brazil, would be a dream come true for Eidur Gudjohnsen and his teammates. Iceland finished second in Group E, behind Switzerland and ahead of Slovenia, Norway, Albania and Cyprus. Aside from the veteran player Gudjohnsen, who played for Chelsea and Barcelona during his prime, the Iceland team is very young and very confident. Gylfi Sigurdsson from Tottenham Hotspur and Sigthorsson from Ajax are their best players.

Croatia team are hoping to get their spark back under the new coach Niko Kovac. Croatia started the qualifications very well, but finished with a whimper, earning only one point out of their last four matches. Croatia finished second in Group A behind Belgium and ahead of Serbia, Scotland, Wales and Macedonia. The best players on the Croatia team are Real Madrid's playmaker Luka Modric, Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic and the Southampton defender, Dejan Lovren.

The odds for the upcoming match in Reykjavik are as follows:

Iceland: 3/1
Draw: 9/4
Croatia: 1/1

The guests, Croatia, are the favourites to win in Iceland and to qualify for the World Cup. A 100 € bet on Luka Modric and his teammates could return 100 € in profit, while the same bet on Iceland could return 300 € in profit.

The most likely scorelines on Friday, according to the odds, are a 1-1 draw and the 0-1 victory for the hosts, both offered at 5/1.

Mario Mandzukic is the favourite to score at 15/8. Eidur Gudjohnsen is the favourite to score for Iceland at 3/1.

Could there be a surprise in this matchup?

Should be a good game!