Croatia Set To End Scotland Hopes

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Croatia and Scotland face a crucial showdown at Hampden Park

Ivan Perisic and Luka Modric are key for Croatia.

Croatia play Scotland in their final Group D match with both sides knowing it is simply a must-win affair if they want to progress to the knockout stages of Euro 2020.

Zlatko Dalic’s men have had a disappointing campaign to say they reached the final of the World Cup only three years ago as they’ve only managed a solitary point from their clash against the Czech Republic.

Steve Clarke’s Scotland suffered a hammer blow in the first game losing 2-0 at Hampden to the Czech Republic and, while they may have been praised for the way they face England at Wembley, they are still without a goal in the tournament thus far.

It is imperative for both sides that they win as it would ensure qualification for the round of 16, with Finland and Ukraine both on three points after finishing third in their completed groups.

Croatia can be backed to win at 5/4, with Scotland rated at 21/10 and the draw at 11/4.

Attack Set to Take Precedence

Given the circumstances surrounding the game, it is expected that both teams will attack from the word go.

A draw would be no good to either team as it would leave them both on two points and give them no chance of qualification via the third-place route.

Croatia should, in theory, dominate possession with their technical midfield led by maestro Luka Modric.

Scotland will sit back when that is the case but as soon as they win the ball back, expect a flurry of counter attacking play, particularly down the left with the potent combination of Kieran Tierney and Andy Robertson.

It means goals are to be expected and punters can back both teams to score at 5/6.

Perisic to Pop Up Again

Ivan Perisic is a player who clearly relishes playing in international tournaments.

The 32-year-old wide grabbed his eighth major international tournament goal against the Czech Republic on Friday as he cut in from the left-hand side and fired a powerful effort into the top corner to restore parity in the game.

Perisic has always been a good player at club level but on the international stage he seems to thrive on more responsibility.

This is particularly the case nowadays – with Mario Mandzukic out of the fold – Dalic is operating with Ante Rebic in a false nine role, meaning Perisic is the man tasked with scoring the goals.

The Inter Milan player will be up against Motherwell’s Stephen O’Donnell for the Scotland game and the Scottish Premiership player will have to be on his toes to stop Perisic.

He can be backed at 14/5 to score anytime.

Experience Set to Count For Croatia

Croatia have been one of the tournament’s major disappointments so far – they never looked like getting anything from England, while the Czech Republic were perhaps unfortunate not to get all three points at Hampden.

That being said, this Croatia side does still contain some quality players who have pedigree at tournament level.

For all of Scotland’s endeavour, there is real concern whether a front pairing of Lyndon Dykes and Che Adams will take enough chances to win them games, while the absence of Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour will be felt following his controlled and measured performance against England.

For that reason, punters may be wise to back Croatia to win by a one goal margin at 13/5.

*All odds correct at time of writing

A sports journalist for over 15 years, Aidan has been part of written and audio coverage on a wide-ranging number of events. Having played and coached at amateur level, he offers in-depth insight and opinion into the world of football in particular.

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