Romania U21 V Croatia U21 Betting Tips: Croatia to Win – 18 June 2019

Croatia to tame goal-shy Romania

International Football Tips

Romania U-21 V Croatia U-21

Tuesday 18 June 2019 – 17:30 Kick-Off

International, UEFA Under-21 European Championship

Pick: Croatia to win – 21/20 Bet365

 

Realistically, this is a must win game for both Romania and Croatia in San Marino. Both know more challenging assignments await them later in the group in the form of England and France, and with only the group winners assured of a place in the next round, it will be all to play for inside the San Marino Stadium.

 

Recent Trends

  • Romania progressed to these finals with a qualifying record of W7 D3 L0, scoring 19 and conceding 4.
  • Croatia progressed to these finals with a qualifying record of W8 D1 L1, scoring 31 and conceding 5.
  • This will be the first meeting between the two countries at Under-21 level.

 

Romania U-21

Making only their second ever appearance at a Under-21 European Championship finals, Romania are widely regarded to be the most unlikeliest of champions and have been quoted as 100/1 rank outsiders. Their odds of 20/1 to top Group C are indicative of the tough task that awaits them in all three matches.

First up, though, is perhaps their easiest fixture of the three, against Croatia. If their form in qualifying is anything to go by – they finished with the equal-best defensive record (4 conceded) but also with the fewest number of goals scored (19), we can expect them to set up with plenty of numbers behind the ball in the hope of snatching a low scoring victory (5 of their 8 wins were without conceding).

So we likely know the game plan, and it must be carried out by a squad of players comprising mainly of individuals from the Romanian top tier, Liga 1, which is certainly disconcerting. Even more worrying has to be their lack of friendlies in preparation for this competition – just the two, in fact: a 3-3 draw with Belgium in November last year and a 1-0 loss to Spain back in March.

Their star player is George Puscas, who was a regular in a Palermo team that enjoyed a strong season in Serie B before a points deduction scuppered their promotion push, scoring 9 times. The 23-year-old was Romania’s leading scorer in qualifying with a somewhat impressive 7 goals.

 

Croatia U21 To Win To Nil
9/4

Bet365

 

 

Croatia U-21

Croatia needed to dig deep and display their fighting qualities in order to reach this tournament, beating Greece in the penultimate qualifier to all-but secure progress to their first U-21 European Championship since 2004 (they needed to beat San Marino in the final match to be certain, and they duly did 4-0).

So, in theory anyway, the Croats may well be a little more battle hardened than some teams here, which could make their odds of 25/1 for outright glory slight value. I say ‘slight’ because they are in an incredibly difficult Group C. That essentially means only a win will do from their opening game, in what is comfortably their easiest match with tougher contests with England and France to follow.

It’s a team with a fair amount of game time across Europe’s main leagues, which is more than can be said for Romania. Duje Caleta-Car, Ivan Sunjic, Alen Halilovic and Josip Brekalo are among those to have collected regular pitch time in the Austrian, German and Russian top leagues, while Nikola Vlasic was a £10m purchase for Everton not long ago and featured prominently for CSKA Moscow last season.

Croatia warmed up for these finals with three friendlies in 2019, with mixed results. A heavy 4-1 loss to Switzerland was followed up by two more encouraging performances against Italy (2-2) and Denmark (1-0). Josip Brekalo top scored in qualifying with 7 goals.

 

Betting Tips

Main Selection: Croatia to win – 21/20 Bet365

Value Pick: Croatia to Win to Nil – 9/4 Bet365

 

Betting Conclusion

Romania aren’t likely to play expansive, thrilling football in this tournament. Goals may be difficult to come by for the lowest scorers of all the teams to have qualified. Croatia, meanwhile, averaged 3 goals per game in qualifying and their vastly more experienced team should put a limited Romanian outfit to the sword.


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