Match Time：11/10/2017 03:45 Friday(GMT+8)
Croatia: Complicated qualification (Recent Form: WDLWLW)
Croatia were considered favourites of group I, but they finished second, behind Iceland and Croatia secured the play-offs on last matchday. Croatia take on Greece on Thursday in the first-leg. “The pitch won’t be ideal for us as it’s easier to defend on a surface full of water. However, there are no excuses. We have to advance to World Cup, regardless of rain, snow, water or sun. We’ll do the job. We have to be patient and organized. We need to avoid their provocations and can’t accept their style. I expect Greece to defend in Zagreb, they’ll try to avoid conceding. Our fans need to be patient as well,” said coach Dalic. Mandzukic is a doubt.
Greece: The underdogs (Recent Form: WWLDDD)
Greece are considered as underdogs of this tie, nevertheless players want to play in Russia next year. “I strongly believe in our team and I think we can advance to World Cup. If I play it would be the most important games of my life. I’ll give everything. Croatia is a great side, but we are optimistic and there is no fear. All I care about is winning and we can do this,” said defender Retsos. Other players also shared with their thoughts. “We need to be highly determined to passionate. We have to focus on defence and keep a clean sheet, which would put us in a good position for the second-leg,” said Kolovetsios.
NOWGOAL BETTING VERDICT:
In conclusion, I believe that this might be a low-scoring clash. Croatia usually don’t score too many goals and they could be struggling on a wet pitch and it’s worth remembering that Mandzukic is doubtful for this fixture. Greece are set to play defensively and perhaps there won’t be much action in this outing.
Nowgoal Pick: under 2.50 goals @1.61
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