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Croatia vs. Slovakia Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews

13 November 2019

Saturday 16 November

Stadion Rujevica - Euro 2020 Qualification

Croatia vs. Slovakia Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews

Croatia are looking to wrap up their spot at Euro 2020 as winners of qualifying Group E when they host Slovakia in Rijeka on Saturday evening. A draw is enough for Zlatko Dalic’s side to do just that, while a point could also prove crucial to Slovakia’s chances of reaching next summer’s championships.

Croatia captain Luka Modric' Source:Andrew Couldridge, Action Images/Reuters

Past Meetings

Slovakia nearly made it to the break level when these countries met in September in this qualifying campaign, but Nikola Vlasic’s goal on the stroke of half-time opened the floodgates as Croatia went on to win 4-0. That was a third win in four for the Vatreni against the Sokoli, with a 1-1 draw in the most recent match before this year.

Team News

Croatia’s squad is full of both talent and experience, with FIFA Wold Player of the Year Luka Modric captaining the side. He and midfield partner, Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic, have won 232 caps between them, while Ivan Perisic, Matteo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic have all reached their half century of international appearances. Fiorentina’s Milan Badelj will join them if he gets some action here.

Slovakia also boast plenty of experience in their ranks, with captain and former Napoli man Marek Hamsik in line to win his 119th cap. Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravaka will start between the sticks, while young prospect Robert Bozenik could get a chance up front ahead of his 20th birthday next week.

Croatia vs. Slovakia Preview and Predictions

Slovakia haven’t beaten Croatia since a 2-1 away victory back in 1998, just a matter of weeks before the Vatreni went on to finish third at that summer’s World Cup. Going one better than that in finishing as runners-up at Russia 2018 last year, Croatia have toiled somewhat in this qualification campaign.

Dalic’s side have only won four of their seven fixtures so far, drawing twice and losing the other away to Hungary. Simply avoiding defeat this weekend would be enough for the hosts to top Group E though, as the rest of the countries battle on in next week’s final fixtures.

Defeat for Slovakia wouldn’t necessarily be terminal for their chances, ahead of next Tuesday’s home game against Azerbaijan. Hungary and Wales are right in the reckoning though, so any kind of result this weekend would be huge for the Sokoli.

The away team are available at 5.90 to pick up an enormous victory in this, although the draw could be more tempting at 4.40, as both countries settle for a result that’s favourable to each team.

Having said that, this Croatia squad is packed with talent, and it would be a surprise if they don’t close out their campaign with the three points. That’s reflected in the odds, with the hosts priced at 1.50 for the win on Saturday.

Recommended Bets

Croatia to win to nil at 2.20

After dominating possession and dismantling Slovakia 4-0 when the teams met earlier in this qualifying campaign, this bet could be a good way to improve your odds on the home win this weekend.

Croatia to win and over 3.5 goals at 4.15

This bet could be another good way to enhance your odds on the hosts, with Croatia certainly capable of turning the screw against the Slovakians, as they showed just two months ago.

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