Where: Opus Arena, Osijek, CroatiaWhen: Thursday, October 12, 8:45 PM CET
The Croats and the Turks are leveled at the top of EURO qualifiers group D, with 10 points each. The only difference is that the Croats have a game in their hands, which puts them in a better position. Wales and Armenia are behind the leading duo, having seven points, and all this makes Thursday’s encounter even more interesting. It could be crucial for the entire assembly.
Croatia vs. Turkey Preview
One of the best nations in Europe over the previous several years is still playing good football. Luka Modric is nearing the fifth decade of his life, but Real’s magician isn’t slowing down. Yes, he may not be as quick and explosive as before, but that’s why he has plenty of help from other players while he presents the team’s brain.
Croatia lost to Spain in the UEFA Nations League finals this June, following penalties, but bounced back with two victories in the EURO qualifiers. They beat Armenia 0-1 and Latvia 5-0.
For the moment, the defensive part of the unit presents excellent performances, with them having three clean sheets in a row. Dominik Livakovic remains one of the best yet most underrated goalkeepers in Europe.
The Turks are coming into this event following a 4-2 defeat against Japan in an international friendly event. They didn’t have the biggest stars in that one, but still, it was a bitter pill they swallowed.
Prior to that clash, we’ve seen them slipping at home to Armenia in an event that ended 1-1. The guests took the lead and kept it until the 88th minute, with the Turks completely dominating the pitch, but being unable to score.
In eight of the past ten events, we’ve seen the Turks both scoring and conceding goals, which is proof of their problematic defense. They simply can’t find any consistency in the back line.
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Croatia and Turkey Possible Lineups
Croatia: Livakovic; Juranovic, Gvardiol, Vida, Perisic; Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic; Pasalic, Kramaric, Petkovic
Turkey: Bayindir; Celik, Demiral, Bardakci, Soyuncu; Calhanoglu, Ozcan, Kokcu; Under, Yilmaz, Akturkoglu
Croatia vs. Turkey Head to Head
The first meeting in the group saw Croatia routinely beating the rivals 0-2. Everything was decided in the opening 45 minutes, with Mateo Kovacic netting a brace that silenced Timsah Arena in Bursa.
Croatia vs. Turkey Predictions
The Croats are the strongest when they lay back and wait for the rivals to attack, and that’s going to be the case here. Croatia is in the position to wait and stalk Turkey’s errors, while the guests need to be a bit more open and aggressive. Overall, we don’t expect to see too many goals in this clash, two at most, so under 2.5 hits is the final pick.
Our verdict: Under 2.5 goals
Croatia versus Turkey Odds
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