Friday, April 19, 2019

Prediction: Portugal vs Croatia

Harry Kettle in Free Soccer Predictions 5 Sep 2018

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Prediction: Portugal win

Best Odds: 6/4

Bookmaker: bet365

The World Cup may be over, but the international break will ensure that we don’t forget what it feels like to support our home country. Over the course of the next few weeks, a handful of friendlies and Nations League games will take place, with varying degrees of importance for them all. One such game is Portugal vs Croatia, which will pit two teams against each other who were once called ‘dark horses’ of international football, but now, they’re major players on the world stage.

Portugal

The Portuguese were viewed as dark horses throughout the course of the World Cup this past summer, and while they weren’t able to progress beyond the Round of 16, the fact that they’re still the European champions will likely soothe the pain. With their big stars being a few years away from retirement the build-up to Euro 2020 is going to be incredibly important for them, as they aim to bring through the next big crop of stars that can lead Portugal to future glory in international football.

Team News

Andre Silva and Goncalo Guedes will be given the chance to lead the line for Portugal, with superstar Cristiano Ronaldo not being included as he focuses on getting his Juventus tenure up and running from a goalscoring perspective.

Croatia

Croatia have been threatening to do something big in world football for a while now, and this past summer, they came within inches of shocking everyone when they managed to reach the World Cup Final. While they had a somewhat favourable route they had to scratch and claw in order to make it to Moscow, before losing out to the French. Their golden generation were able to give their fans a memorable summer, and now, they’ll look ahead to Euro 2020 as perhaps their last tournament with this collection of superstars in their ranks.

Team News

Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, who were both rumoured to be retiring in the wake of the World Cup, have both been called up for this game.

Factors to Consider

  • The game will be played at Estadio Algarve in Portugal.
  • Portugal reached the Round of 16 at the World Cup before losing to Uruguay.
  • Croatia reached the Final of the World Cup before losing to France.
  • Portugal have won all four of their meetings with Croatia.
  • Their last meeting came at UEFA Euro 2016, when Portugal won 1-0 after extra time in the Round of 16.

Conclusion

It’s hard to measure the importance of these kinds of games, and in equal measure, it’s difficult to figure out how both teams are going to play. When you consider the fact that Portugal are coming off the back of a somewhat disappointing WC campaign, it feels like they’re the ones who will give it everything they’ve got in order to make a real statement against the WC runner-ups. Croatia will take the lead, but we believe that the Ronaldo-less Euro 2016 winners will win the game 2-1.

Prediction: Portugal win

Best Odds: 6/4

Bookmaker: bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Harry Kettle


Harry is a University of Worcester graduate who has been writing professionally for the last two years. He specialises in several sports such as MMA, pro wrestling and athletics, with football being his primary love. He continues to dream of a life in the Premier League as a Wolves fan.

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