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Sunday June 12th sees the first game of Group D in Euro 2016, and we have Turkey taking on Croatia in a game that both sides will be confident of getting a good result out of it, and will probably even fancy getting the win here.
Turkey came through Group A in Euro 2016 qualifying, and although they finished 3rd in their group, they came through as the best third-placed team, having won 5 out of their 10 games, losing only 2 and drawing 3. Turkey scored 14 goals and conceded 9 during their campaign. Burak Yilmaz was Turkey’s top goalscorer during qualifications, bagging 4 goals in total. Selcuk inan wasn’t far behind, claiming 3 of Turkey’s goals. Turkey’s best win during qualification was undoubtedly their 3-0 win at home over the Netherlands. There was no real shocks in Turkey’s Euro 2016 squad, with Fatih Terim naming a relatively experienced squad.
Croatia finished second in Group H in qualifying behind Italy. They were deducted 1 point, but it wouldn’t have made any difference, as Italy finished 4 points ahead of them. The amazing thing about Croatia’s qualification run is that they only lost 1 game, which was away to Bulgaria. Croatia scored 20 goals in their 10 games, but amazingly only conceded 5 goals, with 2 of those coming against the Italians. Ivan Perisic was Croatia’s top goalscorers during qualification, with 6 goals out of Croatia’s 20. Like his counterpart, Ante Cacic will be going for some experience here, and will no doubt be relying on Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric to shore things up in midfield and provide the killer balls for Mario Mandzukic.
In the head-to-head, Turkey have played Croatia 6 times, with Turkey winning 1 game, Croatia winning 2 and 3 draws. In the 6 games, Turkey have scored 4 goals and Croatia have scored 8 goals. The last meeting was in 2011 during qualification for Euro 2012, with the game ending 0-0. Prior to that, Croatia beat Turkey 3-0 in Turkey.
Turkey vs Croatia Match Betting Odds:
Turkey: 3.75, 11/4, +275
Croatia: 2.15, 23/20, +114
Draw: 3.2, 9/4, +220
Turkey vs Croatia Match Betting Tips:
Looking at how both teams got to Euro 2016, there looks to be only one winner here, and that’s Croatia. The key to Croatia’s qualification was their tight defence, and a midfield that works together to both protect the defence, and also feed the forwards. The fact they concede a goal every two games sums up how hard it is going to be for Turkey to break them down. Turkey don’t batter in the goals, and although they put 3 past the Netherlands, they struggled to score against the weaker teams in Group A, especially away from home.
The fact is, Turkey are great at home, there’s no doubt about that, but away from home, they’re just not great. Croatia aren’t going to give them too many chances, Turkey don’t have any real world class goalscorers, while Croatia do. Croatia to win is the only sensible play here, as I expect a solid defensive performance from the Eastern Europeans.
Turkey vs Croatia Prop Bets:
I know I keep harping on about Croatia’s defence, but it really is impressive. And to be fair to Turkey, they didn’t ship too many goals during qualifying, either, holding the Dutch to 1 goal over 2 games. So I’m looking at under 2.5 goals, and although it’s not the greatest odds, it’s a sensible play.
Croatia to win to nil is another bet I like, and at far fancier odds. If you’re of the inclination of getting on a 5/2 or so shot, you could do far worse than getting on Croatia to win to nil.