Croatia v England Betting Tip Under 2.5 goals – 12 October 2018

Goals may be in short supply in Croatia

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International Football Tips

Friday 12th October 1945hrs Croatia v England Football – Europe – UEFA Nations League  It’s a little over three months since these two teams met in the semi-final of the 2018 World Cup and they get a quick chance to face off against each other once again in this UEFA Nations League encounter. It was heartbreak for Gareth Southgate and his players on the last occasion and whilst a win would not make up for that disappointment it would be a step in the right direction at least on their quest to make an impact in this competition. Continue reading for a match preview of Croatia against England as well as a selected best betting tip.

Croatia surprised much of the footballing world in reaching the final of the World Cup and it was a remarkable achievement considering the size of the nation, the pool of players they have to pick from and also because they required a playoff to even reach the finals in Russia. Although they endured the disappointment of losing in the final to France, the national team were hailed as heroes on their return home – but they were quickly brought back down to earth in their next competitive outing which came against Spain in this competition. A 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Luis Enrique’s men was hardly a predictable result considering the contrasting fortunes of both those countries just a couple of months previous to that game. The hope will be that it was just a one off and that Croatia are still very much a force to be reckoned with at this level, however they have to show that when facing England at home on Friday evening. It would have been a long month for this group of players following their humiliation against Spain and they’ll be eager to put things right tomorrow.

Reaching the semi-finals was an achievement for England who were not fancied to do anything at the World Cup before a ball was kicked. Southgate and his players emerged with a great credit following their fourth placed finish and he was rewarded with an improved contract on the back of his work since taking charge of the English national team. Like Croatia, however, they were undone by Spain in their opening UEFA Nations League game – losing 2-1 at Wembley last month. They did defeat Switzerland in a friendly game at home a few days later but the focus was very much on bouncing straight back to get points on the board in their Nations League group in order to firstly avoid a demotion to the lower ranked league and secondly, attempt to pressure Spain at the top of the group. They travel to Spain for Monday night’s encounter and will be hoping to go there having gotten a positive result against Croatia tomorrow evening. If England are to threaten top spot in this group then they need a minimum of four points from their next two games and that would be some feat considering the opposition they face and their respective records at home.

Croatia v England Betting Tip

It required extra time to settle the game when these two last met back in July but the stakes are nowhere near the same this time – however the need for both Croatia and England to get a win is very similar. Defeats for both to Spain in their opening matches have left these two playing catch up and there is already a six point gap. The team who finish bottom of the section come next month will be relegated and that’s not on the radar for either coach. Croatia were humbled last time out and will still be licking their wounds. Their home record is very good, though, and they will take confidence from the fact that they have not lost on home soil since 2013, which is tremendous form. England, on the other hand, have been improving their form on the road under Southgate but they do tend to still be vulnerable when facing the better quality sides on their travels – losing to France, Germany and Spain in away friendly matches over the past couple of seasons. You could argue Croatia are not as strong as those nations but they did finish runners up in the World Cup.

The Nations League concept has definitely added a more competitive element to these matches and teams seem to be taking them more seriously. Croatia will be ensuring they are much more defensively sound in this match compared to against Spain whilst England will be looking to counter. As such, and despite the teams both need a win, I’m backing this one to be a low scoring affair so take the unders.

Selection: Under 2.5 goals 63/100 @ Marathon Bet


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