Croatia vs Greece Predictions, Betting Tips and Match Preview. Check the match preview, betting tips, useful info and betting predictions for the match between Croatia vs Greece in the World Cup qualifying play-off.
Croatia vs Greece Match Preview
It is play-off time and Croatia will hope to ride on their favourite tag to get a decisive lead in the first leg against Greece. This first leg encounter of the World Cup qualifying play-off would be played at Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb on Thursday, November 9.
Croatia started as favourites to proceed from Group I of the European World Cup qualifiers, but Iceland managed to upset the odds and finish top of the group. Croatia picked up 20 points from their 10 matches to finish two points behind Iceland and three ahead of Ukraine. That leaves them with overcoming Greece in the play-off to book a flight to Russia next year. Once again, they start favourites to qualify but we have seen in the past that it means nothing. Since the end of Euro 2016, Croatia have played 15 matches and won eight of those. What sets them apart is their formidable home record that saw them win 12 of their last 15 home matches, drawing the remaining three. They have also managed a clean sheet in 11 of those 12 wins, highlighting their near-invincibility at home.
Greece finished second of Group H in the World Cup qualifiers, after a tight battle with Bosnia and Herzegovina that dragged till the last minute. They finished second behind Belgium (28 points) with 19 points, a mere two above Bosnia and Herzegovina. Their last eight games saw them win two, draw four and lose two matches with both losses coming to Belgium. Greece have one of the most formidable defensive units which is experienced and stubborn in thwarting attacks. However, their Achilles’ heel is their attack with very few standout threats going forward. The 2004 European Champions have improved a lot after failing to qualify for Euro 2016 but face an uphill battle if they want to make it to Russia 2018.
Croatia vs Greece H2H
Croatia have played Greece six times winning one, drawing three and losing twice. The last time Croatia vs Greece fixture was played was in 2011. Croatia have two wins, a draw and two losses from their last five matches while Greece have two wins, two draws and one loss.
Croatia vs Greece Team News
Croatia coach made no surprises with his team selection but he will be without midfielders Mateo Kovacic or Milan Badeji due to injuries.
Greece coach Michael Skibbe has a lot of selection issues as experienced defender Kostas Manolas is suspended for the first leg after deemed to have taken a booking on purpose. Petros Mantalos and Tasos Danis are injured and unavailable.
Croatia vs Greece Probable Line-ups
Croatia: Subasic, Vida, Lovren, Mitrovic, Vrsaljko, Rakitic, Brozovic, Kramaric, Modric, Perisic, Mandzukic.
Greece: Karnezis, Torosidis, Sokratis, Papadopoulous, Stafylidis, Tachtsidis, Zeca, Christodoulopoulos, Fortounis, Mantalos, Mitroglu.
Croatia vs Greece Predictions
This Croatian side is adept at keeping clean sheets and that should once again be the case in the first leg. It would be a tight match though, as Greece will look to pinch a point away from home. Expect a low scoring encounter with under 2.5 goals a distinct possibility, so that could be the best betting tip for the match between Croatia vs Greece.