Prediction & odds for the game: France (3/4) v Croatia (15/4)
When: Tuesday, 8th September @ 7.45pm K.O
Where: Stade de France
France and Croatia will meet once again in the UEFA Nations League this week in a rematch of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final.
They haven’t always lived up to their billing as world champions in the two years since Russia 2018, but the quality residing in the ranks of the French national team is utterly undeniable. They have consistently churned out world class talent over the course of the last few decades, and as we look ahead to the future, it seems as if you could make two or three full squads worth of talent from that part of the world. With UEFA Euro 2021 being just nine months away, they’ll be determined to prove themselves once more on the big stage.
When France get out of first gear they can produce some really special performances, but they often don’t need to. Starting in September 2019 and lasting through until November, they saw off the challenge of Andorra, Iceland, Moldova and Albania without really breaking too much of a sweat. Then, in their return to action a few days ago, they edged past Sweden 1-0.
Missing out on winning the FIFA World Cup was undoubtedly a difficult pill for Croatians to swallow, but there was a clear pride in their ability to overcome the odds and actually reach the final in the first place. Their golden generation is slowly but surely winding down with many of their biggest and best names moving into the final few years of their career, but it does feel as if there’s still the possibility for them to surprise the masses once again next year at the Euros.
1-1 draws against Azerbaijan and Wales in Euro 2021 qualifying certainly raised a few eyebrows, but convincing wins over Hungary and Slovakia followed by a narrow 2-1 triumph against Georgia set the World Cup finalists back on the right track again. However, against Portugal in their most recent Nations League tie, they slumped to a shocking 4-1 defeat.
The 2018 final was an entertaining, open game of football, and we tend to believe that something similar is going to happen here. Both sides have players that are preparing for a return to domestic football, but for the Croats, they’ll want to try and gain a measure of revenge for that 4-2 loss in Moscow. We’re expecting a fun back and forth clash that sets us up nicely for domestic football’s big return this weekend, and in the end, Les Bleus will pick up the win.
We’re hopeful that there are going to be plenty of goals from the plethora of attacking stars that will be on the pitch, which is why we’re backing the over 2.5 goals market.
Verdict: Back the home win at odds of 3/4 and the over 2.5 goals scored at odds of 1/1 (All odds are taken from bet365).