Croatia vs. Spain Betting Preview
Spain can qualify for the knockout stage of Euro 2012 with a draw against Croatia but I expect them to win and top Group C in the process.
The defending champions were required to come from behind to snatch a point versus Italy in their first fixture at the finals, thanks to a Cesc Fabregas equaliser, but they had clearly come on for the run when trouncing Ireland and should confirm their class once again on Monday.
A 2-2 draw would send both Spain and opponents Croatia into the last eight at the expense of the Italians but I highly doubt that’s the scenario that will unfold and the outright favourites have been very well-backed to end the group phase with a win.
Their 4-0 thumping of the Irish saw Fernando Torres return to form with a brace and the Chelsea striker is expected to lead the line again.
Spain have struggled in that department, deploying no forwards against the Azzurri, but their overall strength is unrivalled and they keep possession for fun in midfield where Andreas Iniesta has been so influential.
Ireland barley saw the ball in their clash with the Euro 2008 and World Cup 2012 winners and while Croatia have impressed in both their matches at the finals, including when drawing 1-1 with Italy last time out, I doubt very much if they have what it takes to trouble Iker Casillas in the Spanish goal.
Spain won both their recent major tournaments without conceding in the knockout phase of either and even the absence of Carles Puyol has failed to unsettle them defensively.
In a match I expect Spain to dominate, the 2.63 about them keeping a clean sheet with Blue Square is just too big. It is a best price 2.20 elsewhere but even that looks a shade generous.
3pts Back Spain Clean Sheet (vs. Croatia) @ 2.63 (Blue Square)
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Sunday June 10
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Tuesday September 11
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