WORLD CUP SATURDAY: The Ultra previews Saturday’s World Cup Third Place Playoff between CROATIA v MOROCCO including a recommended BETDAQ bet.


3pm It’s the game that nobody wants to be in on Saturday as the Third Place Playoff takes place in the FIFA World Cup on BETDAQ Betting Exchange. Croatia and Morocco were outclassed by Argentina and France during the week, and although there’s no doubt we have the Final most football fans were hoping for, we should actually have a good game here. I feel like the bigger the side, the less they would try in this game almost. For Croatia and Morocco, finishing third would be seen as a huge achievement. Usually we see sides here that aren’t bothered and just want to get on the first plane home.

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In the past we have had some very high scoring Third Place Playoff games at the World Cup; however in 2018 we had a very low tempo, and pretty boring, game between Belgium and England. Belgium won 2-0 that time around, but we usually see a few goals. Over 2.5 goals has collected every World Cup from 1978 to 2014. They probably didn’t have an Over/Under 2.5 goal market is 1978 but there you go! That’s going all the way back to when West Germany won. Since then we have had score lines of 2-1, 3-2, 4-2, 2-1, 4-0, 2-1, 3-2, 3-1, 3-2, 3-0 and then of course the 2-0 to Belgium in 2018. Over 2.5 goals is 1.95 at the time of writing and it’s bound to be a popular bet. Both sides have nothing to lose, and we generally see a pretty open game.

With that being said, I don’t think it’s as straightforward as just blindly backing Over 2.5 goals here. As I said above, we have two very proud nations and teams here – they are far more likely to put in a solid shift than if Argentina or France were here in my opinion. They go into the tournament expecting to win, and likely wouldn’t care about finishing third. For the likes of Morocco, finishing third would be an incredible achievement so I can’t see them going into this game not playing their usual game which has been very cagey. They have focused on being rock solid at the back, and they are likely to continue with those same tactics here – it’s easy to understand why Over 2.5 goals is close to 2.0 rather than heavy odds on.

It’s also easy to understand why we have an open market. The match odds at the time of writing currently trade; Croatia 2.46, Morocco 3.15 and the draw is 3.55. I’d keep an eye on the team news here just to see do we get any surprises – if anyone was playing with an injury they will likely miss out on this game whereas they might have been happy to play in bigger games with pain killing injections etc. Of course, we also can’t forget that these two met way back in the Group stage – it was the first World Cup game for both sides and we saw a very boring 0-0 draw. Croatia were into that game trading around 2.1, so the 2.46 will appeal to many in that sense.

Morocco have been the surprise package of this World Cup. Even getting out of the Group stage was a massive achievement given they were in a Group with Belgium and Croatia. They then knocked out Spain and Portugal, but you have to say that they rode their luck a lot in the tournament. They didn’t create much going forward, and mainly won games by being rock solid at the back. Ironically, they created their biggest xG figure of the tournament when losing to France – probably conceding an early goal meant they had to come out of their shell.

I hope we get an early goal here because it will open up the game and make it very entertaining. The reality is that we have two sides here who haven’t created a lot during the World Cup. I don’t really want to back Under 2.5 goals looking at the history of the Third Place Playoff but the two sides do suggest quite a cagey affair here. I’m happy to have a small bet on the draw at 3.15 as I really don’t see much between the sides, and they will both fancy coming third so I can’t see either taking this game easy or switching off.

The Ultra Says:
One point win Draw at 3.15 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

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