Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: Croatia vs Czech Republic Preview

Croatia vs Czech Republic Preview

Croatian playmaker Luka Modric

The action in Group D has begun! Croatia have tasted the bad end of revenge after going down 1-0 to England in their opening fixture. The Croats will look to earn a crucial three points going into this matchup and will have kept a close eye on the Czechs against Scotland. The pressure is now on as points on the board for Croatia is a must in this fixture, leaving no room for breathing space. Let’s take a deeper dive into the camps of these nations.

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Euro 2020: Group D
Friday 18 June
Hampden Park
18:00

To Win
Croatia 21/20
Draw 47/20
Czech Republic 26/10

Croatia

Croatia’s match against England did not go as planned. In the first half, England’s individual quality shone, and the Croatians found themselves on the back foot, quickly realizing that keeping the ball in this fixture is of utmost importance.

After some good possession, Croatia were able to create a few opportunities but unable to convert any. Coming close on just two occasions, you can easily assume what will be focused on in the training camp.

The young right back Josko Gvardiol made his first international start and proved his quality, which should see him retain his place in the line-up. Zlatco Dalic will have to be cautious with his selections as three key players both have a yellow card each, Chelsea’s Mateo Kovacic, the man who needs to make all crucial tackles Marcelo Brozovic, and replacement for Dejan Lovren, Duje Caleta-Car. There is no room for error in this round two fixture for the Croatian outfit.

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Czech Republic

Czech Republic’s opening fixture was against a tough-to-beat Scotland. Some positives can be taken away from their fixture, but learning curbs are just as prevalent. The Czech Republic have never won a fixture over Croatia in three previous attempts.

The Czech’s did, however, come close with a 2-2 draw in their Euro 2016 group stage encounter. A hard-fought battle from two goals down saw now 35-year-old Milan Skoda head his team towards a point, and Tomas Necid neatly slotted home a penalty kick to level the score. Head coach Jaroslav Silhavy has felt the pressure before and will know how to handle the upcoming fixture having been assistant when the Czechs bowed out of the Euro 2004 to Greece in the semi-finals.

Silhavy has finally found the stage he deserves at the Euros and his no-nonsense attitude translates into the style of play his team brings to the competition.

Prediction: Draw (47/20)
The minds and mentality of the Croatians are up for it, but I will refer to the old and degenerating legs they have in the team, which are definitely not up for the near back-to-back fixtures they must endure, after such a difficult domestic season. Their experience will get the Croatians to a draw, but not over the line for all three points. The Czechs, like their previous opponents, Scotland, are always down to fight till the end, but the individual talent they once possessed is no more, and like their current opponents, they do not have what it takes to get all the way over the line, and a draw at 47/20 has all the appeal.

Written by Joshua Gaillard