The 2018 World Cup finalists did their bit in getting out of a competitive group featuring England and the Czech Republic and their reward for it is a tie against Spain. In their impressive 3-1 win over Scotland, it was skipper Luka Modric who ran the show in midfield and also contributed with a beautiful goal that was just typical of a master craftsman at the top of his game. If Modric and his midfield partner Mateo Kovacic can win the midfield battle here, Croatia will start to believe.
Spain were sluggish and uninspired in their first two games and though they were considerably better in their last one, beating Slovakia 5-0, they know they weren’t up against a great side and that luck went their way, particularly when it came to the opening goal: an absolute howler with Slovak keeper Martin Dubravka very much at fault.
Despite both sides being involved in high-scoring games on Wednesday afternoon, the signs are that this one could be very different. Both of Croatia’s first two games went under 2.5 goals as did four of the five they played before the Euros.
As for Spain, their first two games also stayed under 2.5 goals, and they’ve conceded just one goal in their last five games when they drew 1-1 with Poland on Saturday.
RECOMMENDED BET: Back under 2.5 goals at 1.68
This has the makings of a tense, edgy game where both sides are happy to bide their time and wait for their chance. And that could well mean the game stays under 2.5 goals.
France may still be highly fancied in terms of the odds on them winning Euro 2020, but they’re yet to play like the tournament favourites. They beat Germany with an own goal, drew with Hungary and then again with Portugal. It was enough to top the Group, but it wasn’t enough to really impress. Then again, it’s never good to peak too soon.
Switzerland have been…Switzerland. They’re always physical, organised and competitive and importantly, won when it mattered. They saved their best performance for their last game and duly beat Turkey 3-1.
Switzerland have actually held their own pretty well over the years in this fixture despite France having far bigger star names and generally being a far more successful side than them.
The last four games between them resulted in a 5-2 win for the French back at the 2014 World Cup but all of the other four were draws, proof the Swiss haven’t been intimidated by their higher profile opponents.
That said, this is a particularly good French side and a Swiss one that’s as competitive as ever but may just be missing a bit of star quality. It’s only really Xherdan Shaqiri who’s able to apply some magic dust to proceedings.
It would be no surprise if Switzerland put up a good fight in the first half with France scoring one or more in the second half to see them through. So bet accordingly.
RECOMMENDED BET: Tie (at half-time)/France at 3.65 on Half Time/Full Time market.