Croatia travel to Wales, where both nations will go head to head in a tie that both teams simply must win. The visitors are the favourite ahead of Sunday’s match, but the result was a 1-1 draw in the most recent Group D meeting.
Robert Page’s side sit in 4th place in Group D after five matches. Wales have picked up seven points and they are still in with a slight chance of earning qualification. Their defence has been quite strong in qualifying, conceding only seven times, however four of those goals came in the shock 4-2 home loss to Armenia. In fact, they have the worst home record in the group. Wales’s biggest issue has come in the final third, as they’ve netted only six times.
Last time out in qualifying, Wales travelled to Latvia where they were victorious with a 2-0 win. On the night, Wales found themselves in plenty of positions to strike at goal and they tallied up 27 attempts. Despite having countless big chances to extend their lead (6), Wales were unable to put the ball in the back of the net and that was the same story for Latvia who missed four big chances themselves.
Croatia are in second place currently, three points behind Turkey with a game in hand. It is clear that as a defensive unit, Zlatko Dalic’s side are extremely solid and they have only conceded two goals so far. However, other than the 5-0 win over Latvia, Croatia have struggled in front of goal which isn’t down to a lack of creativity.
Croatia tasted defeat for the first time in qualifying this week, as they lost 1-0 at home to Turkey. It was another low scoring game, that on another day, could have seen four or five goals. Croatia dominated the ball and all the attacking statistics, yet they were unable to break Turkey down after they took the lead on the half hour mark.
Both sides have struggled In attack, but Croatia should just have too much quality for Wales. Their solid defence and experience should give them the edge over this somewhat new-look Welsh side. On paper, the game should be low scoring.
The final prediction is Wales 0-2 Croatia.