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Croatia v Wales: Home side to quell Welsh revival

| 16.10.2012

Croatia, having won five of their last six home games, drawing the other, are understandable odds-on favourites to overcome Wales at 1/3.

Igor Stimac’s side are unbeaten in qualifying thus far, with two wins and a draw emanating from their opening three fixtures.

In Wales they face an outfit who triumphed in their last outing, but that win was their first in six matches under the stewardship of Chris Coleman.

Two late Gareth Bale strikes ensured that success over Scotland, but having conceded nine times in three qualifiers so far, punters will be deterred from investing in another Welsh win at 8/1.

4/1 is the price attributed to a draw, and the travellers would welcome that result, though it appears unlikely with them losing four of their last six on the road.

In fact, the visitors could struggle to even find the net against a side in such formidable home form.

Croatia have conceded just twice in their last six home outings, and 8/11 odds about them keeping a fifth clean sheet in seven matches on their own patch look tempting.

11/10 odds regarding Croatian victory in which they are not breached are also appealing, and it should also be noted that Stimac’s men have most regularly won by two goals recently.

With that in mind, the 10/11 about Croatia winning despite a one-goal handicap looks good.

Those fancying a dominant home win could also study half markets with intrigue, as the 6/4 regarding Croatia winning both halves appears too big.

It is 6/5 that the home side simply find the net in either half, a feat they achieved in their last outing.

And familiar sources are expected to provide the goals for the hosts, with Everton striker Nikica Jelavic 10/3 favourite to break the deadlock.

Bayern Munich Mario Mandzukic is next in the betting at 7/2 after an impressive Euro 2012 campaign, whilst former Arsenal forward Eduardo is a 4/1 hope to notch first.

For the visitors, the aforementioned Bale has scored all of their three goals in qualifying so far, and the electric winger will certainly threaten again at 9/1 for the opener.

Alternatively, the set-piece specialist can be backed at 3/1 to continue his purple patch by getting on the scoresheet at any time.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



John Klee