Portugal vs Croatia Betting Preview – 06/09/18

Portugal vs Croatia Betting Preview – 06/09/18

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Portugal vs Croatia

Portugal welcome 2018 World Cup runners-up Croatia this evening in a friendly match that should be packed full of action. The Euro 2016 Champions will play out this fixture without leading man Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been given a break to consider his international future. That will of course be a huge blow for the hosts, as without the Juventus forward they are a side who lack any real threat in the final third.

After their exploits at the 2016 European Championships, Portugal struggled at the recent World Cup in Russia, bowing out at the last 16 stage to Uruguay 2-1 after a mixed group stage campaign. Defensively they were poor and conceded sloppy goals throughout the tournament, with ageing players such as Jose Fonte and Pepe struggling to cope with the demand at the very top level. It’s likely that Fonte will be rested for this encounter to make way for 21-year-old centre-back Ruben Dias, who has impressed since being handed his debut for Benfica last year. Pepe however is in line to make his 100th cap for his country should he line up in tonight’s fixture.

We’re expecting goals in this clash, Fernando Santos’ side have bagged more that one goal a game in eight of their previous eleven friendly matches. Meanwhile, Croatia have conceded two goals in two of their last three friendlies away from home, so with this considered we feel as though backing both teams to score could be a good option here – that’s priced at EVENS with William Hill.

For Croatia, this will be their first match since their memorable World Cup final defeat to France in mid-July. Zlatko Dalić’s men were the surprise package in Russia and impressed many with their slick style of attacking play, so will be looking carry that same level of performance into the upcoming Euro 2020 Championships.

After much speculation surrounding their international futures, both Luca Modric and Ivan Rakitic have been included in the visitors squad for this encounter. Should Rakitic feature here – just like Portugal’s Pepe – it will be his 100th cap for his nation. It’s not confirmed whether the two starlets will line-up from the start in this clash after their recent efforts at the World Cup, however if they do then it would be hard to look past an away win here.

Although Portugal are the favourites for this tie, we feel as though Croatia are the stronger side, despite being away from home. Playing against a team with no Cristiano Ronaldo will make their challenge here much easier as it goes without saying how light the hosts are without the presence of their star man up front. Even if Modric and Rakitic do not feature here, they still have an abundance of quality with the likes of Chelsea’s Mateo Kovacic in midfield and Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic in attack. We’re expecting goals in this one, with Croatia coming out on top come full-time.

Recommended bets:

Croatia to win at 2/1 with Bet365 – BET HERE

Both teams to score at EVENS with William Hill – BET HERE

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