Prediction: Argentina vs Croatia (International Friendly, 12.11.2014)

Argentina are looking forward to end Croatia’s unbeaten run, especially in the wake of their qualification match against Italy. The Croats last loss dates back to the World Cup in the game against Mexico, and ever since Croatia have been dominating their qualification campaign.

Argentina will field their strongest squad, with Sergio Aguero leading the team to the goal. Gerardo Martino has called up Santiago Vergini after his team has been hit by injuries. Garay and Fernandez will not feature, as well as Marcos Rojo, which leaves Martino with only Demichelis and Zabaleta as the defensive squad.

Niko Kovac is set to field a secondary team against Argentina to avoid any injuries as Italy were deemed as their priority. This will see superstars like Luca Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic watching the game from their TV stations, quite an unusual sight for such a high profile friendly. Kovac has dismissed reports about fielding a secondary team and hinted that Halilovic might replace Rakitic against La Albiceleste.
Croatia took 19 players to London to get ready for the game, while once again, leaving Subasic, Lovren, Perisic and Olic to train separately. Argentina took imaginary revenge over Germany when they won the friendly in September, but the World Cup trophy still stayed with the hosts. Their next friendly saw them lose against Brazil, where neither Messi nor Aguero counted for much other than chase after David Luiz and Neymar. Against Hong Kong, Argentina won with 0-7, and Higuain, Messi and Gaitan scored a brace.

Carlos Tevez was finally called back up for Argentina, which is meant as a decoy to take off the pressure from Lionel Messi. Tevez has scored eight goals so far in Serie A, and William Hill gives the striker 2.05 odds to score anytime, while Higuain and Aguero both got 1.91 odds for the same market. Croatia will most likely try and defend Argentina’s attacks but most likely concede early. An outright Argentina win has 1.22 odds, as opposed to Croatia’s 13.00 odds to win outright with open an account via betting agent. We are going to bet 8 units on Argentina to win both halves with 2.15 odds.

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