Croatia vs Wales
Date: Saturday, 8 June 2019
Kick-Off at 14:00 UK / 15:00 CET
Venue: Stadion Gradski vrt (Osijek).
Head coach Zlatko Dalic has huge problems with the list of injured players ahead of Croatia’s important home fixture against Wales on Saturday afternoon in the third round of the European Championship Qualifiers.
The hosts will be looking to get back on winning ways after a surprising 2-1 loss at the hands of Hungary back in March.
Croatia, who enjoyed their historical journey to the World Cup final last year in Russia, are generally struggling to adjust to life without Mario Mandzukic. They barely edged past Azerbaijan 2-1 in the opening Matchday of this qualifying campaign and went on to lose to Hungary with the same scoreline.
A slip-up here against a tricky opposition in the likes of Wales could put their top-two finish in Group E in jeopardize.
Croatia vs Wales: Head-to-head
Croatia will rely on the head to head tradition as they were the dominant force in the history of this match-up.
They won each of last three meetings with the Dragons, including two WQ Qualification ties back in 2012 and 2013.
Just one of four H2H games saw three or more goals scored.
Croatia vs Wales: Prediction
Wales got off to the best possible start thanks to a 1-0 victory over Slovakia in March. Top four teams in the group ladder thus have three points each, but only Wales played just one game so far.
Can the visitors take advantage of the momentum and Croatia’s slower run of form to cause a big upset here?
Ryan Giggs will be without Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey, but he will count on services of his star man Gareth Bale who is expected to lead the line. It will be interesting to see whether Stoke City’s forward Sam Vokes will get the chance to make the starting line-up.
Dalic will be without two key first-team regulars Ivan Rakitic and Ante Rebic who are both injured, as well as talented Fiorentina forward Marko Pjaca. This leaves Andre Kramaric as the lone man in the final third.
Wales won three of last five games with an identical 1-0 scoreline. We expect them to park the bus here as the Under 2.5 goals FT looks to be a stand-out bet.
Croatia vs Wales: Bet Tips
Under 2.5 goals FT @ 1.61 (8/13)
Draw at the half time @ 2.10 (11/10).