Turkey v Croatia: Why Modric and co look the right favourites
Even despite Spain’s surprising loss to Georgia in their final warm-up game ahead of Euro 2016, many will be expecting Vincent del Bosque’s side to progress to the knockout rounds of the competition as the table toppers of Group D.
Another expectation is that one of Turkey or Croatia will take the second guaranteed spot in the last 16, putting extra pressure on the outcome of their showdown in Paris.
The initial omens don’t look great for Turkey, particularly on the basis that they have lost their opening match in all four major tournaments they have qualified for in the last 60 years.
Furthermore, they have failed to even score in 90 minutes in all three of their meetings with Croatia in the last decade. Getting this monkey off their back at the Euros could be especially critical too as Croatia are among their opponents in Group I during qualification for the 2018 World Cup.
These facts, alongside another that Croatia scored more and conceded least of the two nations during qualifying, help point towards a victory for Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and co at 6/5.
However, it may pay to stick with the safer play on backing under 2.5 goals in the match at 4/7 as the best means to turning a profit.
Turkey’s sole defeat in 14 matches was to England and all of their last eight matches have been settled by no more than a single-goal margin, suggesting they like to keep things tight.
Prior to thumping San Marino 10-0 as a confidence booster before the Euros, Croatia had won five matches out of six and conceded just twice in this stretch. It is worth noting that the games in which they conceded were the only two against fellow Euro 2016 opposition.
Croatia have the greater attacking riches at their disposal, but both nations will know the importance of this particular clash towards the longer-term goal of reaching the knockout rounds.
Those feeling a little more ambitious in the punting department may even want to consider the goalless draw at an attractive 13/2.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.