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Portugal vs Croatia Prediction & Betting Tips
Key Stat: Portugal have won all four matches they have played against Croatia, and are yet to concede a goal in this fixture.
Expert Verdict: Croatia's run to the World Cup final was the coming of age for a core of players like Luka Modric – the Golden Ball winner, Ivan Rakitic and Ivan Perisic but several key figures have retired since. Portugal, meanwhile, need to bounce back from their own disappointing campaign but will do so without Cristiano Ronaldo. Without their star man, this is a chance for others to step and shine – the hosts are favourites and can restore some pride by beating the World Cup runners-up.
Portugal vs Croatia Head-to-Head Stats
Portugal have won all four matches they have played against Croatia since the break-up of Yugoslavia and Croatian independence. Their first game was a 3-0 Portugal win at Euro ’96, before Portugal won friendlies 2-0 and 1-0 in 2005 and 2013 respectively. Their most recent match was at Euro 2016, when Ricardo Quaresma scored the only goal of the game deep in extra time after neither side had managed a shot on target in the opening 90 minutes.
Portugal vs Croatia Betting Tips
Portugal are favourites to beat Croatia despite their respective World Cup campaigns, having previously been in good form before their defeat to Uruguay.
Croatia are without several of their World Cup stars through retirement and injury and this is a new era for them in many ways now – even if Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic remain at the core of the midfield.
With those two, Croatia still boast exceptional players and with Portugal missing their talisman, Cristiano Ronaldo, this on paper seems a big chance for more Croatian success.
However, Ronaldo’s absence is an opportunity for the likes of Rony Lopes, Bernardo Silva and Ruben Neves to prove the future of the Portuguese national team is in good hands.
Andre Silva arrives after a hat-trick in his first La Liga game for Sevilla too, so there is certainly strength in depth in the Portuguese attacking line-up.
With home advantage as well, and a big point to prove after a disappointing World Cup for the European champions, this is a chance to make a statement.
Portugal have an unblemished record against Croatia, and this is a chance to make it five wins out of five in this fixture.
Croatia vs Portugal Recommended bets with odds
Portugal are favourites to beat Croatia and can be backed at 7/5 to win with Bet365 and Betway. They have never conceded to Croatia, and you can bet against both teams to score at 3/4 with Ladbrokes.
A Portugal win to nil – for the fifth consecutive fixture against Croatia – will return 13/5 with Bet365 and Betway, meanwhile.
Even with a new-look defence, however, Croatia should not be easy to break down – under 2.5 goals will return 4/7 with Betway.
Bernardo Silva has started the new season in good form for Manchester City and is 22/5 to score at any time with 888sport. After his Sevilla hat-trick, meanwhile, Andre Silva is 12/5.
Portugal vs Croatia Prediction
Portugal can put a disappointing World Cup behind them straight away in a fixture in which they enjoy a great record. Croatia are without several World Cup stars, so their recent form is not a good guideline.
Correct score prediction: Portugal 2-0 Croatia