Verdict: Portugal win
Best Odds: 1/1
Two sides who are simply looking to sign off their Nations League adventure with victory in midweek, Portugal will make the trip out to Croatia on Tuesday night.
Starting with the hosts, while Croatia might have stunned many across Europe as they secured a silver medal finish out in Russia two years ago, the Blazers have drastically failed to build off of that tournament’s success. Putting in what was a torrid first-half display over the weekend and receiving a string of criticism for their performance in Solna, Vatreni were hit with a shock 2-1 defeat against Sweden on home soil and it appears there is growing pressure on Zlatko Dalić position in the dugout. Simply with their sights set on trying to avoid the drop in midweek and not lift the wooden spoon, Croatia have managed to win just a single competitive contest in 2020. Hit with a 4-1 drumming when they made the trip to Portugal back in September and facing a tough end to this year’s tournament on Tuesday night, it should also be highlighted that Dalić’s side have managed to collect just three points from their five Nations League appearances this year.
Croatia will be without both central defenders Duje Caleta-Car and Dejan Lovren who will serve suspensions on Tuesday night.
Filip Uremovic also picked up a knock against Sweden over the weekend and looks set to miss out in midweek.
As for the visitors, coming off the back of their close-fought 1-0 loss against France on home soil over the weekend, Portugal are seeking an immediate return to winning ways while they can’t secure a route to the knockout stage after Saturday’s defeat in Lisbon. Although the Reds will be disappointed that they can not go on and defend their Nations League crown, the defending European champions have enjoyed a largely impressive run of form over the past 13 months. Led by attacking talisman and skipper Cristiano Ronaldo who does find himself enjoying another international purple patch, Tuesday’s guests have lost just one of their previous nine matchups across all competitions, a run that stems back to October 2019. Cruising their way to next year’s delayed European Championships and also landing that thumping 4-1 win when they faced off against Croatia back in September, Portugal will be seeking an immediate bounce in midweek.
Portugal have no injury or suspension concerns to worry about as they head out to Croatia on Tuesday.
Key Factors to Consider
- When the two sides faced off back in September, Portugal picked up a thumping 4-1 victory.
- Portugal have lost just a single matchup across any competition since October 2020.
- Croatia have managed to collect just three points from their five Nations League appearances this season.
- Continuing on from the inaugural Nations League tournament, Croatia have shipped over 1.5 goals in seven of their last eight appearances.
- Portugal have recorded three consecutive clean sheets on foreign soil.
While Portugal might have seen their unbeaten run brought to an end against France over the weekend, there is no doubt that the Reds will be smelling a golden chance to make a return to winning ways on foreign soil. With Croatia only continuing to show a string of issues since their silver medal finish out in Russia two years ago, the Blazers have managed to collect just three points in this year’s tournament and could hold some unpleasant memories of their last meeting against Tuesday’s guests. Hit with a thumping 4-1 defeat when they faced off against Portugal back in September, we’re backing a similar away victory in midweek.
Verdict: Portugal win
Best Odds: 1/1
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