Czech Republic vs Croatia – Group D – 5pm (BBC) – 17.06.16 – Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-EtienneLuka Modric’s only shot of the game saw Croatia edge past Turkey 1-0 in their opening group game.
A sensational, dipping volley from 20 yards out was just another day in the office for a player widely regarded as one of the best in the world.
He ran the show in that game and expect it to be no different this evening – his teammates look for him every time they get the ball and he, in turn, finds them with almost every pass.
Czech Republic did well to hold their own against a powerful Spain side and it seemed to be working until Pique’s 87th minute winner.
As is to be expected against a Spanish side intent on keeping the ball, the Czech Republic had only 28% possession throughout the game and they must be more assertive against the ‘bigger’ teams in their group if they wish to progress.
The Czechs have their talismanic playmaker in the form of 35 year old Tomas Rosicky, but it may once again be left to the player that completed the most passes against Spain – goalkeeper Petr Cech – if they are to ensure a victory.
Recommendation: Croatia -1 handicap 3.80
- This will be the first competitive meeting between the countries.
- The Czech Republic have never beaten Croatia in two previous meetings (D1, L1).
- Czech Republic have not been involved in a draw at a major tournament for 19 games (W9, L10).
- The Czechs have never failed to score in two consecutive games at the European Championship.
- Czech striker Tomas Necid has scored more goals as a substitute (seven) than as a starter (four) for his country.
- Croatia have won five of their last eight group games in the European Championship (D2, L1).
- Croatia have only failed to score once in their last 10 games at the European Championship
- Croatia have never conceded more than once in their last eight games in the competition.
- Croatia recorded 19 shots against Turkey, equalling their record for most attempts in a 90-minute game at the European Championship.