By Maryam Naz
14th November 2018
The Spaniards will be looking to strengthen their standings at the top of group G in this most recent bout of UEFA Nations League fixtures. They travel to the Maksimir this Thursday to face a Croatian side that is yet to win in this competition.
Croatia vs Spain: odds and predictions
Luis Enrique’s Spanish side come into this fixture as the betting favourites with their odds of victory priced up at 11/10. A win for the home side Croatia is less fancied at a 5/2 pick whilst a sharing of the spoils of war wagers at 12/5 in the match betting.
William Hill’s traders then project a result for La Furia Roja in our Croatia vs Spain predictions and betting tips, with the home side our projection to emerge as the victors as they did in their last encounter against the Croats.
The Croats were hammered 6-0 by Spain in the opening fixture of the UEFA Nations League, just weeks after becoming World Cup finalists. Rodrigo Moreno, Isco and Marco Asensio all struck against Croatia in that victory and have been called up again by Luis Enrique.
The former man already has two goals and one assist in his three appearances in a Spanish shirt in this competition, and we’re forecasting him to make the score-sheet again, trading at 5/1.
Blazers head coach Zlatko Dalic elected to name a more youthful squad this time out with three members of the U-21 side called up. Wolfsburg wide man Josip Brekalo, CSKA Moscow’s Nikola Vlašić and Marseille defender Duje Ćaleta-Ca all made the cut and could feature alongside experienced old heads Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Ivan Perisic.
Inter Milan winger Perisic already has five goals for Croatia this calendar year and can be backed to score against the Spaniards anytime at odds of 3/1.
Croatia vs Spain head-to-head: (most recent first) Croatia 0-6 Spain, Croatia 2-1 Spain, Croatia 0-1 Spain, Croatia 1-2 Spain, Croatia 0-0 Spain
Croatia vs Spain predictions: score, best bet, scorer tips
Predicted score: Spain our pick to win 3-1, odds trading @ 16/1
After last month’s 6-0 thrashing in the Estadio Martinez Valero, the first match projection in our Croatia vs Spain predictions forecasts the Croats losing streak to extend, despite playing on home turf.
Enrique’s side have already bagged 14 goals in their last four international fixtures, averaging over three goals a game, and the omen’s don’t look too good for the travelling side.
Frailties showed by Domagoj Vida and Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren due to a lack of pace and focus at the back will be punished ruthlessly by the Spanish attack, and perhaps a 3-1 defeat will be befitting of their lack of defensive cohesion.
Best bet: Both teams to score, wagering @ 13/10
La Furia Roja may be firm favourites, but our betting tipsters are wagering that both teams will score, indicative of the talent present in the Croatian attack.
Dalic’s choice of a more youthful squad may work in his favour, (hence the inclusion of Brekalo) against a Spanish side known for their possessive style of play. Pace on the counter may be the only way for the Croats to score.
Combine this with Sergio Ramos’s inability to deal with pace and physical strength, through Mario Mandzukic, there may be a way for the home side to challenge the Spaniards this Thursday.
Predicted scorer: Isco to score first, projected @ 7/1
The last instalment in our Croatia vs Spain predictions and betting tips sees Isco priced at odds of 7/1 to score first.
Despite Moreno and Paco Alcacer stealing the limelight in front of goal, our William Hill traders are swaying in the favour of the 26-year-old.
Isco has shown not only the skill to pass to players in more threatening positions, such as Alcacer, but also the ability to find the net himself, from ridiculous ranges, as evident in his goal against the Croats in the reverse fixture.
It would be easy to tip him to be the provider, with a pass success rate of 90%, but we’re going one better and punting on him to score first in what could be easy pickings for the Real Madrid midfielder.
Maryam is a female football writer, who grew up playing a wide variety of sport. She slowly became converted as a lover of football around the age of 10, and her interest in it drove her to pursue it not only physically, but also academically. In her first year of college she cemented a placement at the Independent, whom she worked for before branching out to Premier League-accredited sites like the female-led 'Offside Rule' blog and RealSport. She studied English at University alongside this, and is now a digital copy-writer and editor, specialising in sports journalism.