WORLD CUP TUESDAY: The Ultra previews Tuesday’s first semi-final in the World Cup between ARGENTINA v CROATIA including a recommended BETDAQ bet.


7pm The FIFA World Cup Semi-Finals arrive on BETDAQ Betting Exchange on Tuesday as Argentina take on Croatia. We’ve already had a World Cup full of drama and excellent sporting action on the pitch. These two had the most drama at the Quarter-Final stage as they both needed penalties to get here. Everyone thought this was going to be a huge tie between Argentina and Brazil, but Croatia had other ideas! The Argentina v Netherlands Quarter-Final was absolutely unreal viewing too with Netherlands coming from 2-0 down – scoring the equaliser in the 110th minute! Surely we can’t see a result more dramatic than that?

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There’s no getting away from the fact that Argentina will be delighted to face Croatia here compared to Brazil. That would have been a clash for the ages to be honest, and it is sad that we aren’t seeing it! You have to give Croatia massive credit to get here, especially given their World Cup history too they have had some incredible performances for a nation of their size. However, you also have to say they have rode their luck to get here. They claimed a 0-0 draw with Belgium while conceding an xG of 3.22, then they conceded a higher xG figure than they created when beating Japan on penalties, and finally they conceded an xG of 2.84 to Brazil last week while only creating 0.63 themselves. They just haven’t been blowing away sides with performances; but they do grind out results and you can’t knock that.

In terms of talent, there is only one winner here. This Argentina side has been fantastic, and haven’t really put a foot wrong. They have conceded some wonderful goals, and even got the shock-of-all-shocks when losing 2-1 to Saudi Arabia at the start of the tournament – but 90% of the time they have been rock solid at the back. I know anyone can score an epic goal from an xG of just 0.01, but those moments are rare. Argentina’s xG conceded at the World Cup is only 1.85. That is quite remarkable – Croatia conceded a higher xG figure to Japan alone! Going forward Argentina have been just as impressive with a total xG of 10.53. Croatia’s total xG going forward is 7.13, but if you take out the Canada win then they drops to 3.89 which is only an average of less than 1 across the other four games.

It’s easy to understand why Argentina are the odds on favourites coming into this game. The match odds at the time of writing currently trade; Argentina 1.86, Croatia 5.5 and the draw is 3.45. In my opinion, the 1.86 is worth backing on Argentina – the best Croatia can hope for is a draw. Croatia have generally aimed to keep games as tight as possible, but they have definitely rode their luck conceding xG figures of 3.22 to Belgium and then 2.84 to Brazil. In my view, this is where Croatia’s luck at the back runs out, and Messi takes one step closer to greatness with Argentina.

From a betting point of view, the biggest question here is whether to opt for Argentina at 1.86 or Under 2.5 goals at 1.6. I do expect Croatia to set up very negatively here, and their games just haven’t been open at the World Cup. Given that Argentina like to grow into their games, we could easily see a score line of 0-0 at half-time here, but Argentina have really took control of games in the second half and I would expect to see the same here. I couldn’t put anyone off Under 2.5 goals at the odds – perhaps even a good game with 0-0 at half-time expected, but Argentina at 1.86 stands out as the best bet here. Croatia have conceded a host of chances, so maybe if Argentina score early we might even see a very impressive score line of 3-0 or 4-0! That wouldn’t surprise me looking at the under-lining numbers, but Argentina at 1.86 is a fantastic bet in my opinion.

The Ultra Says:
Three points win Argentina to beat Croatia at 1.86 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here ->

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