Croatia face Czech Republic in Glasgow for their second Group D game on Friday. Zaltko Dalic’s men must win at all costs after losing to England in their opener, but the Czechs already won against Scotland at the same venue.
Where and when: Hampden Park – 18 June, kick-off 17:00
Where you can see Croatia vs. Czech Republic: BBC
Last time: The last encounter between those two countries was at Euro 2016, when they shared the same group. Croatia had a two-goal lead thanks to strikes by Ivan Perisic and Ivan Rakitic, but two late goals, including an 89-minute penalty allowed the Czech Republic to snatch a 2-2 draw.
Croatia v Czech Republic Predictions and Preview
It will be all or nothing for Croatia when Zlatko Dalic’s selection face the Czech Republic for their second Group D game on Friday. Although losing only 1-0 to England in their opener, the Vatreni underperformed heavily and barely threatened Jordan Pickford’s goal.
The lack of a world class striker has been a huge problem for Croatia ever since Mario Mandzukic put an end to his international career. AC Milan’s Ante Rebic and Hoffenheim’s Andrej Kramaric have both tried to fill in the role, but both failed to impress against England.
Dalic needs to find a solution right away, but his options aren’t as bright as they once were. Bruno Petkovic might start against the Czechs, as the Dinamo Zagreb forward was thrown in the second half in the first game. Mario Pasalic is another offensive player pushing for a start.
The midfield is supposed to be the backbone of the team, but Matteo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic looked horrendous against England. Luka Modric wasn’t able to hold the center of the pitch on his own, so Dalic will expect a much better display from his team in that area.
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Croatia to win and BTTS
Over 3.5 goals
Patrik Schick to score first
On the other hand, the Czech Republic kicked off their Euro 2020 campaign in the perfect fashion by defeating Scotland by 2-0 in front of their home crowd at the Hampden Park.
Patrik Schick was the star of the night as the Bayer Leverkusen forward broke the deadlock with a fine header, before scoring one of the most memorable goals in the history of European championship. We’ll surely be seeing many replays of his second goal – a stunning curved strike from the half-line that saw David Marshall comically flying up into his net.
The Czech Republic were considered to be outsiders in Group D, but their first-round victory shows they are more than capable of holding their own. However, Silhavy’s men need to avoid defeat against the vice-world champions, as they visit Wembley to face England in their final game in the Group
For sure the Czechs don’t want their qualification to depend on getting a result against the Three Lions, so they must not get it wrong against Croatia.
The Croats are not the force they were back in 2018, but nevertheless they are slight favorites against the Czech Republic and you can back them up to win at 6/5. The draw is rated at 11/5, while if you think the Czechs will win a second consecutive game at the Hampden Park you can place a bet at 5/2.
One to watch for Croatia: Luka Modric had a tough Euro 2020 opener, as the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner was chasing shadows for the majority of the game against England. The Real Madrid star didn’t receive the needed support from his midfield colleagues against the Three Lions, but all eyes will be on the Croatian captain to make the difference against the Czech Republic.
One to watch for Czech Republic: Patrik Schick scored both goals in the 2-0 victory against Scotland, so all eyes will be on the Bayer Leverkusen man to deliver against Croatia as well. Schick has been in fine form for both club and country this term, so backing him up to break the deadlock on Friday seems like a good option.
Long shot: The last two games between Croatia and the Czech Republic have seen over 3.5 goals. Both sides boast descent front lines, while they do not seem particularly impressive at the back so if you are looking for bigger odds you can bet on a repeat of that scenario at 11/4 with William Hill.