After last weekend’s defeat of Estonia, Croatia manager Slaven Bilic insisted his side would be ready to raise their game for the challenge of Norway on Saturday as they aim to reach optimum sharpness ahead of Euro 2012.
Goals from Vedran Corluka, Nikola Kalinic and Ognjen Vukojević secured the 3-1 victory over Estonia last time out and it was the first-half performance that particularly impressed Bilic.
And with captain Darijo Srna, playmaker Luka Modric and strikers Mario Mandzukic, Ivica Olic and Nikica Jelavic all vying for starting berths, that can only spell bad news for Norway, who suffered a 1-0 defeat in Roy Hodgson’s first game in charge of England last weekend.
Bilic’s Vatreni are a settled unit and have only lost two of the 22 friendlies played during his six-year reign. It is primarily for this reason that they represent excellent value at 9/5.
World Cup Qualifiers - European Zone - Group A Croatia win £25.60 (7/25) Draw £95.00 (15/4) Scotland win £180.00 (8/1)
Unlike Hodgson’s Three Lions, Bilic’s Vatreni are a settled unit and have only lost two of the 22 friendlies played during his six-year reign.
It is primarily for this reason that they represent excellent value at 8/5 in bwin’s 3way football betting market, as opposed to 17/10 for a home win or 11/5 for the draw.
Any new customers using their free £25 bet for registering can expect potential returns of £65 for a Croatian win.
History is on the Croats’ side also, as the last two international matches between the two team have ended in 2-1 victories for the eastern European country.
A similar outcome tomorrow is rated at 19/2 and given how Jelavic tormented Norway captain Brede Hangeland in Everton’s 4-0 win over Fulham little over a month ago, this could be a great alternative bet.
Taking Croatia to win is good enough at 9/5, but make things even more interesting by putting an extra quid or two on this option in the correct score market.
Recommended bet: Croatia to beat Norway @ 9/5
Outside punt: Croatia to beat Norway 2-1 @ 9/1
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