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Croatia vs. Spain Predictions: Modric to score and Morata to see yellow

Luka Modric is still all class even at 35.
Luka Modric is still all class even at 35.
By Neil Monnery

A tough tie to call in the first Round of 16 game this Monday so Neil Monnery has a few longer priced shots to play ahead of Croatia vs. Spain...

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Date: Monday, June 28

Kick Off Time: 12PM ET

TV: ESPN

Spain were the biggest question mark for me of all the supposed top sides heading into Euro 2020 and they’ve not done anything to dispel my issues with them. Only Scotland performed worse in terms of converting expected goals into goals and neither Alvaro Morata nor Gerard Moreno looked like top quality strikers.

Putting five past a deflated Slovakia side in their third group game has papered over a lot of the cracks for me. The embarrassing own goal from the Slovak goalkeeper opened the floodgates and the second right on the half effectively killed off the contest. The three second half goals didn’t really count for that much in my opinion.

Before that of course they had drawn with Sweden and Poland. With the former winning the group, I wonder just how much Spanish players, coaches and fans are looking at that result knowing a win would’ve put them in the much weaker half of the draw.

As for Croatia, they are down on the heights of three years ago when they made the final of the 2018 World Cup. They still have Luka Modric however and that absolute worldie of a goal against Scotland put them on a path to qualification out of the group. Even with the likes of Spanish wonderkid Pedri on the pitch, Modric will be the best player and often in these games, one star man can change things. It didn’t for Wales against Denmark though.

Ivan Perisic has tested positive for Covid-19 so will not be available for the Croatians and Sergio Busquets looked like his old self against Slovakia, so expect him to keep his place after his bout of the same disease ruled him out of their opening two games.

I think these are two pretty well matched teams. I like the tie on the Moneyline at +280 with numerous Sportsbooks. I can’t go with Spain at odds on because of their lack of fire power and Croatia to win outright in 90 minutes would be a bit of a surprise. No doubt I would if push came to shove take Croatia at +550 over Spain at -154.

The aforementioned Luka Modric might not score as many as he used to but at +800 to hit the back of the net at anytime - that is yelling out value. You can get that number at the time of writing with BetMGM, Borgata, Resorts Casino and William Hill in New Jersey.

Alvaro Morata is a bit of a hot head at times and tends to get frustrated. Referees are clamping down on silly tackles, elbows from strikers and talking back to officials so +450 for him to be shown a card with Unibet and SugarHouse is another prop to consider.

Picks: A tie on the Moneyline at +280, Modric to score anytime at +800 and Morata to be shown a card at +450.

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