Croatia vs Wales Betting Preview

By Ernie Bibby, Friday, March 24, 2023 10:49 pm

Wales get their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign underway with a potentially tricky trip to Split. The match takes place on Saturday evening at the Poljud Stadium and kicks off at 19:45 UK time.



Despite their ageing squad, Croatia continue to defy expectations. Many pundits and analysts have written them off over the last 12 months, however, they remain a force to be reckoned with. Zlatko Dalic has been handed a new contract following his side’s third place finish at the 2022 World Cup and they will be feeling confident of taking three points from this opening qualifier.

Combo 23
Football Croatia Wales
Home 1.42
Draw 3.93
Away 5.65
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Croatia rarely fail to qualify for major tournaments these days and they were excellent in the run-up to Euro 2020. They lost just a single match en-route to that tournament and won all four home matches. They were also fairly solid here in the Nations League, beating Denmark and holding France to a 1-1 draw last summer.

Dalic has a few issues with his squad with a number of his players having struggled for minutes domestically. Mislav Orsic is one of many players who have seen their playing time restricted and with a short qualifying campaign, Dalic can’t afford to take too many risks in this one.



Wales begin the post-Gareth Bale-era with a tough trip to Croatia. Rob Page has refreshed his squad following the retirement of their talisman as well as influential midfielder Joe Allen. Experienced duo Chris Gunter and Jonny Williams have also been left out of the squad as the Dragons continue to evolve.

Wales were excellent during their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign and managed to take a point off Croatia in Cardiff. However, their recent form has been troublesome and they’ve lost six of their last eight competitive matches. They found the net in just one of their three matches at the 2022 Qatar World Cup and failed to score from open play.

Wales have picked up just two victories since November 2022 with the recently-retired Gareth Bale having scored the winner in each of those contests.

Nevertheless, the visitors are fairly well-organised and there is a terrific spirit within the camp. They will not make it easy for the hosts.


Head to Head

These two sides are fairly familiar foes. They’ve met six times since 2002 with Croatia emerging victorious on four of those occasions.

They met during the qualifying campaign for Euro 2020 with Croatia emerging victorious on home soil (2-1). The points were shared when they met in Cardiff in October 2019.


Key Betting Stats

  • Croatia have scored exactly two goals in each of the last three home matches against Wales
  • Croatia are unbeaten in home qualifiers for this tournament (W27 D8)
  • The hosts have scored 2+ goals in each of their last five home Euro qualifiers
  • Marko Livaja scored once during Croatia’s recent Nations League outings despite being restricted to just 28 minutes. He plays his club football in Split and has netted 17 times in 25 appearances this season.
  • Wales have scored just six times across their last eight competitive matches
  • Six of Wales’ eight Euro 2020 qualifiers featured fewer than three goals
  • Wales netted just four times across their eight away qualifiers for Euro 2020. Keiffer Moore was responsible for 50% of those goals.


Match Prediction

This feels like a new era for Wales and it may take them time to adapt. Their away form isn’t great and although they do tend to keep things tight, they lack any sort of firepower. Croatia should have enough to clinch three points in Split. They have already beaten Wales on home soil and have enough quality to find a way through.


Winning Combo

Croatia to Win and Under 3.5 Goals

Odds – 11/10 with Betfair


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