Greece will host Croatia for part two of their World Cup qualifying clash on Sunday, with the visitors leading 4-1 on aggregate after the first leg. This article contains our Greece vs Croatia betting preview including predictions, betting tips, probable lineups, team news, best odds, bookmakers promotion and no deposit free bets on the World Cup play-offs!
GREECE vs CROATIA BETTING PREVIEW
Greece need to win by three goals here and based on recent form that looks extremely unlikely. Prior to the 4-1 defeat on Thursday, they won just two of their last seven group games, overcoming only Cyprus and whipping boys Gibraltar in that spell. Anyway, the Greek side has a strong record at home. Only Belgium won at this venue during the group stage, via a late Romelu Lukaku goal, with just one goal conceded in the other four qualifiers here. They need to score at least three goals in this second leg and they have managed that feat just twice in the past two years – and both of those games were against minnows Gibraltar.
Greece coach Michael Skibbe should field a more offensive team and he may choose to field Dimitrios Diamantakos or Anastasios Bakasetas as a second striker alongside Kostas Mitroglou, plus Christodoulopoulos and Gianniotas hoping to add some spark in attack. The hosts will also be boosted by the return of Roma defender Kostas Manolas, who will start at the expense of Tzavellas or Papadopoulos. In midfield, Alexandros Tziolis and Zeca are likely to feature from the off. Dimitrios Pelkas will miss out with a suspension, while Andreas Samaris, who came off after 62 minutes on Thursday, is a doubt.
Croatia have one foot in the World Cup after a convincing 4-1 first leg victory at home. However, they did lose on the road to both Iceland and Turkey in the latter stages of the Group I campaign. They won the remaining three away qualifiers against Kosovo (0-6), Finland (0-1) and Ukraine (0-2) without conceding a goal. Zlatko Dalic has taken a completely different approach from his predecessor Ante Cacic, allowing his team play a more expansive style of football which seems to be better suited to the players at his disposal. In this match Greece will try to score an early goal, conceding counterattacks to Croatia, one of their favourite weapon.
After such a convincing first leg victory, Croatian boss Zlatko Dalic may be willing to give a couple of players a chance to impress but he should name an unchanged line-up. Mario Mandzukic missed out on the first leg after failing to shrug off a hamstring injury and could miss out again, joining defensive midfielder Milan Badelj and Real Madrid star Mateo Kovacic on the sidelines. As a result, Nikola Kalinic will spearhead the attack, with Ivan Perisic, Andrej Kramaric and Marcelo Brozovic playing as offensive midfielders.
GREECE vs CROATIA PROBABLE LINEUPS
Greece (4-4-2): Karnezis; Retsos, Tzavellas, Manolas, Sokratis; Tziolis, Zeca, Christodoulopoulos, Giannotas; Mitroglou, Diamantakos
Croatia (4-2-3-1): Subasic; Vrsaljko, Vida, Lovren, Strinic; Rakitic, Modric; Brozovic, Perisic, Kramaric; Kalinic
GREECE vs CROATIA ODDS
|GREECE||3.75 with||Bet £10, win £37.50|
|THE DRAW||3.40 with||Bet £10, win £34.00|
|CROATIA||2.20 with||Bet £10, win £22.00|
GREECE vs CROATIA PREDICTIONS
|OUR PICKS||BEST ODDS||BOOKMAKER|
|Croatia to win||2.20|
|Under 2.5 goals||1.73|
|0-1 Correct Score||8.00|
|Croatia first team to score||1.80|