Croatia and the Czech Republic will clash on Friday, June 18 at Hampden Park in their second match of EURO 2020. Croatia will chase their first points of the tournament following a disappointing 0-1 loss against England, whereas the Czech could secure promotion this evening with another victory.
Croatia vs Czech Republic
When: Friday, June 18 – 17:00 BST
Where: Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland
Weather: Intermittent Clouds, 17°C
Referee: Carlos del Cerro Grande (ESP)
Croatia will hope they can improve upon their showings from Monday, where they seemed a bit too hesitant to push the Three Lions. With some expected changes in the midfield and attack, Vatreni should look more potent with the ball, however, knowing how resilient the Czech can be, a win for the 2018 World Cup finalists is all but guaranteed.
The Czech are undefeated in their last two outings, which includes victories against Scotland (2-0) and Albania (3-1). However, they’re 2-1-2 in their last five, with two losses against Wales (0-1) and Italy (0-4), as well as a 1-1 draw against Belgium (1-1).
Croatia Need to Step Up
Croatia struggled to trouble England in their EURO 2020 opener, which ended in a narrow 1-0 victory for the Three Lions. Gareth Southgate had a reasonably easy time securing all three points in what was a somewhat disappointing showing from the 2018 World Cup finalists.
They looked slightly off and not as energetic as expected, however, we’re confident Croatia will show up this evening in Glasgow.
Vatreni might not have impressed against England, but they’re now facing a much more manageable team in the Czech Republic. Still, Croatia have a few issues on their hands with missing players.
Borna Barisic missed the match against England and isn’t expected to make a return tonight. On a more positive note, Luka Modric and Dejan Lovren could feature this evening.
Zlatko Dalić is expected to make some changes to his starting XI, which includes partnering Modric with Mateo Kovacic in the midfield.
Additional changes should follow in the attack, where Dalić will have plenty of options in Josip Brekalo, Nikola Vlasic and Bruno Petkovic, which should add a bit more firepower that Croatia seemed to lack against England.
The Czech Republic Can Be Happy with Their Performances
The Czech Republic enter this match off a solid showing against Scotland, who they beat 2-0 on Monday. Both sides produced plenty of chances that day, and while Scotland seemed more dangerous with their attempts, the Czech took their shots better.
The match was more about Scotland lacking the quality to punish the Czech rather than the Locomotive being very impressive. Although we wouldn’t like to discredit the team for their showings, it’s fair to say that the Czech Republic won’t look as potent when faced with a more resilient side.
Heading into their second EURO 2020 match of the tournament, the Czech don’t have any new injury concerns. Goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka is sidelined and will be replaced by Tomas Koubek.
Croatia vs Czech Republic Betting Picks
Croatia last met with the Czech Republic during EURO 2016 group stage, when the Czech Republic forced a 2-2 draw with a 89’ goal. Their only other meeting was a friendly match in 2011 when Croatia won 4-2.
Based on the teams’ performance from the opening round of EURO 2020, Czech Republic would come off as a better side, however, they haven’t been properly tested yet, and that’s about to change this evening.
A draw is a realistic possibility, but we like the Vatreni better.
Prediction: Croatia -0.25 Asian Handicap – 2.04 at Sportmarket (or take them to win outright at 2.42)
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