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Croatia v Czech Republic Tips: Soucek to be central to your bets

Croatia v Czech Republic Tips: Soucek features.
Croatia v Czech Republic Tips: Soucek features.

Hampden Park is the venue as Croatia lock horns with the Czech Republic tomorrow evening. The bookmakers have the Croats’ as the favourites here priced at around 23/20, however, it is hard to make a case for either of these sides.

A win is of paramount importance for the hosts, Croatia, if they are going to stand any chance of qualification from Group D. Whilst they did show glimpses against England, defeat at Wembley means they have only won two of their last ten games and these victories came against Cyprus and Malta. It is also worth noting that they drew to Armenia and lost to Slovenia over that period. The point is they have been a shadow of the side that reached the World Cup final in 2018 and I cannot be going near them as favourites here.

As for Czech Republic, their clinical display at Hampden Park means they top the group at the end of the first round of fixtures, standing them in good stead to reach the knock-out stages. Victory here would be only the second time that they have won back-to-back games at a European Championship, however, defeat would blow the group wide open. Therefore, Jaroslav Šilhavý may throw caution to the wind here as a point will do for the visitors.

Croatia v Czech Republic Tips

Today's football tips

Croatia v Czech Republic Odds

Czech Rebuplic +0.5 Asian Handicap
Odds correct as of 2021-06-18 09:25 Odds subject to change.

As already alluded to, a draw will be good enough for the Czech’s which should mean we will see a pragmatic approach deployed from their supremo here. Under Šilhavý’s tutelage, his side have rarely gone gung ho and often edge the fixtures against nations of similar quality. In recent competitive games they have bested the likes of Israel, Slovakia and Estonia, they also held the world's top seeded team- Belgium- to a draw.

If Croatia’s recent form is anything to go by they should not cause Tomas Vaclik too many issues in Czech Republic’s goal. In their last ten games, the Chequered Ones have scored 12 goals, however, a third of those came in their victories against minnows Cyprus and Malta.

Therefore, Czech Republic +0.5 on the asian handicap appeals here, effectively this is double chance at slightly longer odds. 

Croatia v Czech Republic Odds
Patrik Schick to have 2+ shots on target
Odds correct as of 2021-06-18 09:30 Odds subject to change.

Apparently, the goal of the tournament has already been scored. It came from Patrik Schick’s left boot from deep down town and sent David Marshall scrambling all the way back to Derbyshire.

That was Schick’s second goal of the afternoon, his first was equally as clinical but came from his head. The Czech had six shots in that game (60% of his sides total) five of which were on target (71% of his side's total) and whilst the numbers may suggest he is running on hot in terms of conversion rate, I suspect he will be more than happy to try his luck vs Croatia.

Betfair and Paddy Power have him to register two or more shots on target at 13/5, the same bet is as short as 6/4 elsewhere. 

Tomas Soucek to score anytime and to be carded
Odds correct as of 2021-06-18 09:35 Odds subject to change.

Finally, as a bit of a longshot you can combine a Tomáš Souček goal with a card using Bet365’s ‘Bet Builder’ at odds of 25/1. Though given the referee’s galling reluctance to card players this summer I would recommend keeping stakes small here.

In his eight most recent competitive starts for his nation- which includes the game vs Scotland- Souček has scored four, racked up 13 shots and nine key passes. This highlights the fact that, although he plays in a deeper role for his country, he still has an impact in the final third.

As for cards, over that eight game period he has only picked up one, however, he has averaged three fouls per game. It is also worth noting that he has played every minute of those fixtures, so we should at least get a run for our money. 

Best of luck if you are backing any of these selections and please remember to gamble responsibly. 

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