Saturday, July 24, 2021

Prediction: Croatia vs Scotland

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: Unibet

With it all still to play for on Tuesday night, Scotland and Croatia will face off at what should be a noisy Hampden for their final Group D contest.

Croatia

Starting with Croatia, while The Blazers might still hold a real chance to progressing their adventure to the knockout stage this week, they have struggled to find much form this summer. Eventually having to come from behind against the Czech Republic over the weekend and lucky to have left Hampden with a 1-1 draw, their first point of the tournament, Zlatko Dalić’s side have really failed to build off of their success out in Russia three years ago. Making it all the way to the final and a showdown against France, Croatia have gained a real reputation from across Europe for their rather glaring issues. Opening their pre-tournament preparations with a shock 1-1 draw against Armenia on home soil earlier in the month, the midweek guests have recorded just a pair of wins from their last 11 matchups across all formats, a run that stems back to October. With that run highlighted by a stunning 1-0 loss against Slovenia in March’s World Cup qualifiers, Croatia could face another tricky test in Glasgow.

Team News

Rangers defender Borna Barisic has returned to training with his teammates and has been given the green light to feature on Tuesday night.

Croatia boss Zlatko Dalić has already confirmed that midfielder Marcelo Brozovic will return to his starting XI at Hampden.

Scotland

As for Scotland, while The Blues might still be looking for their first victory at this summer’s European Championships, they put in what was a hugely impressive display against their British rivals over the weekend. Despite many expecting England to make it back-to-back Group D victories and secure their spot out of Group D with time to spare, Steve Clarke’s side were more than deserving of their 0-0 stalemate at Wembley. Gaining plenty of plaudits for their rugged display south of the border, the former Kilmarnock boss will be desperate for his side to build off of that performance when they return to Glasgow in midweek. Sat with just their goal difference keeping them behind Croatia and that lucrative third-spot heading into their final Group D contest, Clarke will now be hoping for his side to find a much-needed clinical edge. Despite that deserved point against England on Saturday night, The Blues are yet to record a single goal this summer.

Team News

Returning to Scotland’s starting XI for their impressive 0-0 draw away at England over the weekend, Kieran Tierney should once again start in Steve Clarke’s back three.

Despite his eye-catching display on Friday night, Billy Gilmour has returned a positive COVID-19 test and will now have 10 days in isolation.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two nations last faced off back in 2013, Scotland picked up a 2-0 victory on home soil.
    • Croatia have managed to win just a pair of their last 11 matchups across all formats.
    • Despite that rugged point against England over the weekend, The Scots are yet to record a Group D strike.
    • Croatia have failed to win any of their last six matchups on foreign soil, suffering four defeats.
    • Only one of Scotland’s last five matchups has finished with both teams finding the net.

    Conclusion

    While both Scotland and Croatia might still hold a real chance of booking their spot in the knockout stage, we could have a cagey affair on our hands in Glasgow this week. With The Tartan Army managing to snatch a hugely impressive 0-0 draw against Group D favourites England over the weekend, the mood in Steve Clarke’s camp should be at a real high after their morale-boost at Wembley. However, if The Scots are to pick up what would be a famous victory in midweek, they must find a clinical edge in the final third. While they might still be yet to record their first goal of the summer, they will be fancying their chances of springing an upset against an inconsistent Croatia. Lucky to have snatched a point against the Czech Republic and really failing to build off of their success in Russia three years ago, The Blazers have managed to win just a pair of their last 11 matchups across all formats.

    Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

    Best Odds: 4/5

    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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