Ukraine vs Croatia Predictions, Betting Tips & Preview
Ukraine set themselves up for a final game showdown with Croatia after beating Kosovo 2-0 last time out, whilst Finland’s 91st minute goal in Zagreb may have cost one of Europe’s more talented sides a place at the next World Cup.
Game: Ukraine vs Croatia
Venue: Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb
Kick-off: Monday 9th October, 7.45PM
The draw was a disappointing result for Croatia, and that 91st minute goal prevented them from topping the group after matchday nine. It’s now Iceland who top it by two points, and although the situation hasn’t changed that much in that Croatia need to avoid defeat here, they may only make the playoffs.
Iceland will play at home against a Kosovo side who have been stubborn at times and have saved their best performances for away from home. Given how Iceland dismantled Turkey prior to the weekend, Croatia know they may only be playing for second spot here.
But Ukraine have it in their hands as much as anyone. The home side technically have no pressure on them as they sit in third place in the group, and until injury time in Zagreb the Ukrainians may have been starting to accept they wouldn’t be at the next World Cup.
Ukraine are 2/1 and slight underdogs here despite being at home. Nothing but a win will do for the hosts, but the draw is available at 23/10 with Sky Bet whilst Croatia are best of odds 6/4 as they aim to return to the summit.
Croatia must be kicking themselves. They’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, as only a win will give them a chance of topping the group, although playing too expansively could cost them seconds place and a chance in the playoffs. If Croatia avoid defeat here then they’ll have a second chance, and that has to be the first priority.
Neither of these teams are easy to break down but the concern for Croatia could be their away form has been patchy. A solitary goal settled the tie when the two met last time and this game should have a playoff feel about it. Neither side can afford an early setback and so a cagey affair can be expected.
Back our Free Betting Tip: Both Teams Score: No at 4/5 with Bet365
If a draw was enough for both of these sides then it would probably be one of those rare occasions where a draw and 0-0 are priced very slim. But Ukraine have to go for it, and at some point so might Croatia. Only once in nine Croatia games have both sides netted.
Back our Score Prediction: Split a one bet stake evenly between Croatia 1-0 at 5/1 with Bet365 and Ukraine 1-0 at 13/2 with Bet365
Croatia are a tough defensive unit to break down, and both sides won’t want to risk anything too much in the first 45 minutes at least. You might see one side in particular flooding forward later in the game (depending on whose need is greater), but for the most part it could be the responsibility of the strikers to take what scraps come their way. This game is no easy task to predict.
Back our Scorer Prediction: There are currently no goalscorer odds available.. and that’s probably a good thing!