Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Prediction: Croatia vs Armenia

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions 31 May 2021

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Verdict: Over 0.5 goals in first-half

Best Odds: 4/11

Bookmaker: Unibet

Looking to gain some perfect momentum before they open this summer’s European Championships, Croatia will host Armenia in a friendly showdown on Tuesday evening.

Croatia

Starting with the hosts, after suffering a shock 1-0 loss against Slovenia on foreign soil when they opened their World Cup qualifying campaign back in March, Croatia still have the feel of a nation seeking some stability. Despite last being seen grabbing much-needed back-to-back victories against Cyprus and Malta, The Blazers have largely failed to build off of their World Cup Final display back in 2018. Enduring what was a horror run in the UEFA Nations League last year, Zlatko Dalić’s side mustered themselves just three points from their six League A matchups and only avoided the drop thanks to their goal difference over Sweden. Desperate to find some momentum before they open this summer’s European Championships against hosts England on June 13th, Croatia will know that victory on Tuesday will be the first time they have landed a trio of consecutive wins since their success out in Russia three years ago.

Team News

After featuring in Chelsea’s Champions League victory over the weekend, midfielder Mateo Kovacic will not feature in midweek and should be given a rest.

Croatia could also be without both Dejan Lovren and Ante Rebic who are dealing with injury issues.

Armenia

As for the visitors, while Armenia might not have landed themselves a spot at this summer’s European Championships, Joaquín Caparrós’s side should find the mood in their camp at a high. Making a string of improvements since turning to the former Levante boss last year, they really impressed with what was an eye-catching run in the Nations League. Despite opening their campaign with a 2-1 defeat away at North Macedonia back in September, Armenia bounced back in some style. Eventually romping their way to top spot and landing a maiden run in League B, The Reds have continued to build on that momentum. Signing off their campaign with back-to-back wins against Georgia and Macedonia, Tuesday’s guests have now won each of their last five matchups across all formats and have not tasted defeat in any of their last eight appearances. Picking up a shock 2-0 victory against Iceland back in March, Armenia might fancy their chances of causing another upset.

Team News

In a shock announcement, Roma midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan has not been selected by Armenia boss Joaquín Caparró.

However, Cadiz defender Varazdat Haroyan has been included and will feature on Tuesday evening.

Key Factors to Consider

    • Victory for Croatia on Tuesday evening will be the first time the Blazers have secured three straight wins since their run at the 2018 World Cup finals.
    • 12 of Croatia’s last 13 home fixtures across all formats have seen over 2.5 goals by the final whistle.
    • Armenia have won each of their last five matchups across all formats, their best ever run of form.
    • Four of Armenia’s last five away fixtures have finished with both teams finding the net.

    Conclusion

    While Armenia might be enjoying what has been a stunning purple patch, they certainly face a stern step up in quality when they make the trip to Croatia in midweek. With The Blazers managing to bring an end to their torrid run of form with welcomed back-to-back victories against Cyprus and Malta back in March, they are desperate to keep their momentum at a high heading into this summer’s European Championships. Ahead of opening their tournament against England at Wembley, we could have another lively showdown on Tuesday evening. Gaining a reputation for their high-scoring contests on home soil and 12 of their last 13 home fixtures finishing with over 2.5 goals, we’re backing a similar outcome.

    Verdict: Over 0.5 goals in first-half

    Best Odds: 4/11

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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