WALES are back in Euro 2020 qualifying action on Sunday night with a tough contest against Croatia on the cards. Anthony Olsson (@Ant_olsson93) is on-hand to lend his betting views.
Wales v Croatia | Sunday 13th October 2019, 19:45 | Sky Sports
Wales host Croatia in a crunch game in their quest to qualify for Euro 2020. The Dragons were held on Thursday night against Slovakia in a 1-1 draw and they’ll be hoping that effort didn’t take too much out of them. Ryan Giggs’ side need know that they probably need a win in this game to put them in a good position for the rest of the campaign.
Croatia top the group after winning 3-0 against Hungary on Thursday night and they know a victory here would all but guarantee qualification for next summer. The World Cup finalists will be confident of a victory and they seem to have found a goalscorer up top in the form of Bruno Petkovic, who has taken his tally to four goals in six international outings.
There could be a reshuffle for Wales with Harry Wilson coming back into the side in place of Thursday’s scorer, Kieffer Moore. Giggs also must decide whether Ethan Apadu can play again in such a short space of time. Ampadu has not featured for his club side this season and he picked up a yellow card in Slovakia.
Croatia have a good record against Wales, winning four of the last five meetings and they’ll be confident they can cause issues for the home side once more. Wales’ home form shows a winning streak of four, but they all came against poorer opposition.
Croatia are certainly the better side on paper but they themselves have struggled for form away of late. A defeat to Hungary back in March and a draw with Azerbaijan stands out. The Blazers have managed just one away clean sheet since September 2018 and I think Wales will be able to trouble them again.
Wales managed to find the back of the net in five out their last six games, one of those goals came in the reverse fixture between these two. Both Teams To Score is evens (Boylesports).
Another angle I like in this game is in the card market. Croatian centre-back, Dejan Lovren, is 7/2 (Unibet) to be shown a card. Lovren has two cards in five appearances during qualification and he hasn’t played much club football this season. With Wales looking to attack in this game I think Lovren could have a difficult time up against Gareth Bale and co.
I think Wales will put in a very good performance but I don’t think they’ll be able to put Croatia away. There is a gulf in class between these sides and I am yet to be convinced that Giggs is capable of masterminding a victory over a highly ranked side.
With some of the Welsh squad not playing as much football as they should we could see a situation where they tire towards the end. I think Croatia, who have a great midfield, should be able to keep hold of the ball and punish the hosts late in the game. I like the look of Croatia to win at 7/5 (Marathon) and I think they’ll be able to just edge out the hosts.
Wales v Croatia – Croatia to win (7/5 Marathon)
Wales v Croatia – Dejan Lovren to be shown a card (7/2 Unibet)
Wales v Croatia – Both Teams To Score (1/1 Boylesports)