Betting-Previews.com brings you full coverage of the ninth round of the Croatian 1. HNL. This was supposed to be the round in which we’d witness the biggest derby of Croatian football – Hajduk Split vs Dinamo Zagreb. However, at the request of the visitors, the game was postponed (reason: Dinamo’s Europa League duties).
As a result, there are only four 1. HNL games on the schedule this weekend. This, however, shouldn’t make you feel disappointed, especially if you’re a bettor.
Dragovoljac vs Rijeka
When: Friday, September 17 – 20:00 CEST
Where: Stadion u Kranjčevićevoj ulici in Zagreb
Weather: Light rain, 19°C
Referee: Dario Bel (CRO)
Dragovoljac sit at the very bottom of the table, with just four points after eight rounds. The silver lining for this team is that all four of those points came from their previous two rounds.
First, they beat Slaven Belupo, which isn’t much of a success if we’re honest since Slaven Belupo are just a spot above them; however, Dragovoljac also forced a draw with Gorica, a team currently in the #5 place in the 1. HNL table.
The bad news for Dragovoljac is that they’re taking on in-form Rijeka. The visitors travel to Zagreb on a three-game winning streak, a 5-1-1 record on the season, and 16 points, which puts them in a three-way tie with the two top teams in Dinamo and Hajduk.
Rijeka will have the motivation, as well as the confidence necessary to win this game.
Prediction: Under 3.00 Goals – 2.03 at Sportmarket
Slaven Belupo vs Istra 1961
When: Saturday, September 18 – 17:00 CEST
Where: Gradski Stadion u Koprivnici in Koprivnica
Weather: Light rain, 22°C
Referee: Zdenko Lovric (CRO)
Neither team can be too proud of their performances in the 2021-22 season. Slaven Belupo have only five points to their name; Istra 1961 have one more.
Both teams are in poor form, with Slaven losing their previous four straight games. Meanwhile, Istra 1961 lost four of their previous five. However, we also saw them winning one game on August 22 – they beat Osijek 2-0 at home.
Now, they’re playing on the road, which isn’t something they seem to like. In fact, Istra 1961 are the worst away team in the league, with zero points after three trips.
Is it time for them to grab their first point(s)? It might be, as their opponent just doesn’t seem capable of winning anything at the moment.
Prediction: Under 2.50 Goals – 1.86 at Sportmarket
Prediction: Slaven -0.25 Asian Handicap – 1.84 at Sportmarket
Sibenik vs Lokomotiva Zagreb
When: Saturday, September 18 – 19:05 CEST
Where: Stadion Šubićevac in Šibenik
Weather: Scattered thunderstorms, 24°C
Referee: Ivan Bebek (CRO)
Sibenik are currently just one position behind Lokomotiva Zagreb. However, their 1. HNL rankings don’t tell the whole story. The thing is that Zagreb have four more points, as well as one game fewer.
The bad news for Lokomotiva is that they’ve been in poor form lately. They’re without a win since mid-August, losing two and drawing one across the last three rounds.
Another problem is that their next opponent, Sibenik, tends to do well at home. Actually, this team has won both of its home matches this season.
Still, Sibenik’s opponents in those games were Istra 1961 and Dragovoljac. Both of those are way, way weaker than Lokomotiva Zagreb.
Prediction: Under 2.50 Goals – 1.87 at Sportmarket
Osijek vs Gorica
When: Sunday, September 19 – 19:05 CEST
Where: Stadion Gradski vrt in Osijek
Weather: Showers, 21°C
Referee: Fran Jovic (CRO)
Osijek finished second in the Croatian 1. HNL last season, booking themselves a ticket for Europa Conference League qualification. Unfortunately for them, they got knocked out by CSKA Sofia. However, this also means that they can now fully focus on the domestic league.
That’s where they haven’t been doing well lately. In fact, they won only one point in the past three games. Their next opponent, Gorica, won seven points in the last three.
Another thing going in Gorica’s favour is that they have an excellent record against Osijek. This team won two of the previous three meetings, while the third one finished in a draw.
However, the fact is that Osijek has much better players than Gorica. Plus, they’re playing in front of their fans on Sunday evening, meaning that we need to think of them as the favourites.
Prediction: No bet