Croatia v Wales – Betting Preview
The Croatians earned themselves the Bronze medal in the Qatar World Cup thanks to a superb tournament where, based on outright betting odds, they overachieved.
It was however one round less than the 2018 World Cup where they were beaten finalists, making them one of the most underrated nations in the game.
The highlight was knocking out the then-red-hot favourites Brazil in the quarter-final stage.
Beating Brazil on penalties opened up the tournament for themselves and the others, including the eventual winners Argentina who knocked them out in the semi-finals.
A confident, experienced, and effective Croatia went on to win the 3rd place game against Morocco.
The boss Zlatko Dalic was rewarded with a new contract at the held to keep him in charge until 2026.
The Croatians will be without Lovren who retired from international football on the back of their success in the World cup.
The rest of the squad remains in place by and large, ensuring great team spirit and momentum coming into the European qualifiers.
They will expect and be confident that they defeat Wales and start qualifying on the right foot.
Ivan Perišić has lost his place in the Spurs team of late but for Croatia, he remains key.
He has been directly involved in four goals in his last six games.
Below is a graphic depicting his contribution at Tottenham this season, where he plays as a left wing-back and is more defensively focused than in Croatia where he is used as a left winger in the front three.
Wales will be severely tested in the next year or so. This because they begin a period in which they need to prove they were not the one-man team in which many called them due to the goals of the now retired Gareth Bale.
Players like Dan James and Brendan Johnson will now need to step up and take charge of ensuring the former Real Madrid star is not as badly missed as many fans fear.
On a positive note. There is a fresh feel to Wales as they come into the qualifying campaign.
Robert Page insists there is plenty of exciting fresh blood that will compensate for the legend that was Bale. The manager has opted to name four uncapped players in his squad.
Wales has a very tough game to open up in Croatia. They haven’t won in eight games, drawing two and losing six.
Looking at the 1×2 market first. Croatia is @ 1.62 to win.
Wales is @ 5.0 and the draw is @ 3.90.
There is no doubt that the host has more momentum and would be a preference given these odds.
Moving onto the Asian handicap betting for this contest. Croatia -1 is @ 1.99 and Wales is @ 1.81.
A slight preference goes for the Croatians who carry much better goal threat and experience through the side, and also much more confidence among their group.
Looking at The Under/Over goal betting last of all. The line is set at 2.50. Wales is a very defensive team and will play for the 0-0. trying to nick a goal from a set piece.
The Over is @ 2.10 and the Under is @ 1.73.