Belgium and Croatia take one another in a friendly international this Sunday. It is the absolute derby of the day, and regardless of the fact that it is a non-competitive contest, it creates a lot of attention. And how wouldn’t it, with the Belgians being one of the top favorites at the upcoming championship? On the other side, Croatia was the runner-up at the previous World Cup. They are not as strong as before but still have marvelous players able to defeat any side that comes along across the field.
Belgium (-120) played just 1-1 against Greece in the latest friendly international played on Thursday. It appears that the absence of Kevin De Bruyne from the starting lineup took a toll on the Red Devils’ pace and the efficiency in the midfield.
Romelu Lukaku was usually alone upfront, and the Belgians didn’t create as many chances as they did in the past. Furthermore, the Greeks were somewhat better when looking at the stats following the game, proving to be more direct than their counterparts.
This event was the eighth in a row in which Belgium stayed unbeaten, posting seven victories and two draws. We’ve also noticed a high rate of matches that end with both teams scoring, eight in the latest 10.
Croatia (+350) is without a defeat in three straight, which is excellent when looking at their results before this stretch. Before beating Cyprus, Malta, and playing 1-1 against Armenia, this side couldn’t post a victory in five events, losing four and drawing one.
However, the opponents were extremely hard throughout that period, France, Turkey, Sweden, Portugal. All those matches were efficient, with at least three goals, but afterward, something changed.
Three of the last four games Croatia played saw just one side scoring, and the same number concluded with under 2.5 goals.
As said, De Bruyne won’t play, because Roberto Martinez doesn’t want to take any chances of aggravating his injury earned in the UCL finals. We might see a few more changes in the lineup, with him checking non-starters.
For Croatia, Josip Brekalo probably won’t play due to his knee injury against Armenia. The player is OK, but the head coach Zlatko Dalic doesn’t have the reason for pushing things here.
Head to Head Games
Belgium and Croatia met the last time in 2012 and 2013. These matches were a part of World Cup qualifiers. The first one in Brussels saw a draw, 1-1, while the second in Zagreb finished 1-2 in Belgium’s favor. Both sides would eventually reach Brazil.
Hence this is a friendly match we won’t go with predicting the full-time result, but instead, suggest betting on a moderate efficiency, 2 or 3 goals. In such situations, the coaches might mix the lineups a little bit, and that often leads to some surprising results. The way both sides play, goals should be present but not in a high volume. Therefore, moderate efficiency is the best possible choice here, with the odds currently set at +105.
Pick: 2 or 3 goals +105
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.