Saturday 8 June: 2pm KO

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Wales famously reached the semi-finals at the 2016 European Championships but have failed to build on that success. They have won their only game in this Euro 2020 qualifying group and have the chance to widen the gap on 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia on Saturday.

Latest Odds

Both of these countries have had notable successes in the past four years but are faiing to capitalize on them. Wales reached the semi-finals of the 2016 European Championships but since then failed to make the World Cup finals last year and finished second in their UEFA Nations League group. Croatia made it to the 2018 World Cup final but were then relegated in the Nations League. Neither side can afford to miss out on Euro 2020.

Wales have played one game in this group and earned a 1-0 home victory over Slovakia. They are second in the group, one of four teams, all of whom have three points. Wales have the advantage though as Slovakia, Hungary and Croatia have all played a game more. You can get odds of 4/1 (5.0) at Unibet on Wales winning this group.

Despite the advantage of having a game in hand, it’s Croatia who are the favourites to win this group. They are 2/5 (1.4) at Betfred but those odds could dramatically change if Wales can get a positive result from this match.

Wales had only won three of their last nine games before beginning their Euro 2020 qualifiers. They finished second in their Nations League group losing both of their games against Denmark. This qualifying group got off to a good start though with a fifth minute goal from Daniel James giving them a home win over Slovakia.

Now they have away games in Croatia and Hungary and they are 5/1 (6.0) at William Hill to get the three points in Croatia. Away form is a worry for Ryan Giggs and his team with only two wins in their last six matches and one of those was a 6-0 win over an outclassed Chinese side.

Croatia also had a disappointing Nations League campaign. After reaching the World Cup final, they slumped to a 6-0 loss away to Spain. A home draw with England and 3-2 win over Spain gave them the chance to reach the finals. Their hopes were boosted when going 1-0 up at Wembley but conceded two late goals and rather than a semi-final, they ended up being relegated.

They had to come from behind to get a 2-1 home win over Azerbaijan in their opening Euro 2020 qualifer. Three days later they travelled to Hungary and took a 13th minute lead. However, the Hungarians fought back to get a 2-1 win leaving Croatia fourth in the group.

Home form is going to be the key to Croatia’s hopes of finishing in the top two. 32 home European Championship qualifiers have seen them without a single defeat. Their last home competitive loss was by the Dutch in 2013. They can be backed at 8/15 (1.52) to win this game if placing the bet at Paddy Power.

Head-to-Head

Wales have never beaten Croatia in any of their four previous meetings. The last three have all been won by Croatia with the Croatians scoring twice. It’s 10/11 (1.91) at SkyBet that Croatia score at least two goals in this match.

Team News

Ben Davies is fit to play in this game against Croatia but will then have hernia surgery ruling him out of the Hungary match. Aaron Ramsey will miss the game due to injury. Croatia will be without Ante Rebic, Nikola Vlasic, Ivan Rakitic and Marko Rog.

Low Scoring Affair

The last three games played between these two countries have all had under 2.5 goals scored in them. Four of the last five Welsh games have ended 1-0. The odds on under 2.5 goals being scored in this match are 8/13 (1.61) at Bet365.

Prediction

A win for Wales would put them in a strong position in this group. Their away form isn’t that impressive though and Croatia are strong at home. A wager on Croatia to win with under 2.5 goal scored is 21/10 (3.1) at Coral.

Published by Steve Ashfield

Steve is a self-employed freelance writer with years of experience writing about everything from sport to politics. He loves his statistics and quotes them at every opportunity.

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