Croatia vs Albania Preview | Euro 2024 Picks & Predictions

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Croatia vs Albania Odds

Wednesday, June 19
9 a.m. ET
FS1
Croatia Odds-223
Albania Odds+600
Draw+333
Over / Under
2.5
 +100/-125
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

In the first game of the day Wednesday, Croatia and Albania meet in Hamburg, Germany, for Matchday 2 in Group B of Euro 2024.

The Blazers come into this match in the bottom of the group after a disappointing 3-0 loss to Spain in their opener.

Meanwhile, Albania wasn't able to hold onto its early lead against Italy and lost 2-1 to start the tournament.

This is a game both nations likely have circled as one where they have to get points. So, we should have a great battle at the Volksparkstadion.

Croatia

For a team with a veteran roster and manager, it was very strange to see how Croatia came out of the blocks against Spain. Before they could blink, the Blazers were trailing 3-0 at halftime.

The heavy defeat also hurts the goal difference, which could come into play for tiebreakers to advance from the group. However, there were some positives.

Croatia did generate 2.38 expected goals and three big chances, according to fotmob.com. Manager Zlatko Dalić’s team also finished with more shots than Spain.

This should be a drop in the caliber of opponent here for the Blazers, and I’m expecting them to come out with urgency in a must-win spot.

Albania

The only major tournament Albania participated in before this was Euro 2016. The Eagles finished that competition with just one goal.

Well, it took them all of 23 seconds to match that total at this event.

The goal by Nedim Bajrami was also the fastest goal ever scored at a European Championship.

Unfortunately, the Italians responded with a pair of goals inside the opening 20 minutes to give the Albanians a 2-1 loss.

Just like Croatia, Albania has to get a positive result here to have a chance at advancing to the knockout rounds for the first time.


Croatia vs Albania

Prediction

I’m expecting Albania to sit back in a low block and try to hit Croatia on the counter. This defensive approach won’t give them many scoring chances, and I don’t think the Eagles can hold on for the full match.

So, my best is a same-game parlay at Bet365 that pairs a Croatia win with Albania failing to register 9.5 shots at +100 odds. I like this down to -125.

The Eagles have struggled to generate shots against better opposition. Since the start of 2023, they have played seven games against nations in the top 50 of the FIFA Rankings.

In those matches, Albania has yet to tally at least 10 shots. That includes only finishing with eight shots in the opening loss to Italy.

You could also look at taking the under on the Eagles’ total corners or shots on target. Those trends against the same opposition aren't favorable to the over.

I love being able to tack on a Croatia victory into this parlay to continue to go against this weak Albania offense.

Pick: Croatia Moneyline and Albania Under 9.5 Shots (+100)

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