Croatia vs. Scotland Odds, Pick, Prediction: Euro 2020 Betting Preview (Tuesday, June 22)

Croatia vs. Scotland Odds, Pick, Prediction: Euro 2020 Betting Preview (Tuesday, June 22) article feature image
Credit:

Steve Bardens – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images. Pictured: Croatian standout Luka Modrić.

  • Croatia and Scotland square off in a crucial Group D matchup at Hampden Park in Glasgow.
  • The Croatians are coming off a draw against Czech Republic, while the Scots scratched out a tie of their own against England.
  • Matthew Trebby breaks down the meeting below and explains why he doesn't expect a lot of goals in this contest.

Croatia vs. Scotland Odds

Croatia Odds +135
Scotland Odds +170
Draw +270
Over/Under 2.5 (-120 / -102)
Day | Time Tuesday | 3 p.m. ET
TV ESPN2
Odds updated Tuesday at noon ET via FanDuel.

With so much uncertainty entering the final set of group-stage games at Euro 2020, there’s only one matchup that both teams have to win to advance.

A draw does no good for either Croatia or Scotland. They each have one point and four should do the trick to seal a spot in the knockout stage. It could even get them second place in Group D.

Croatia is coming off a come-from-behind draw against Czech Republic and missing a spark going forward. Meanwhile, Scotland defended for its lives against England and will have a big home-field advantage in Glasgow.

This is the game I’m looking forward to most of the final round of group fixtures. Let’s break it down.

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Croatia Has Edge in Quality, Experience

After starting with its typical 4-3-3 formation against England, Croatia drastically changed its shape against Czech Republic. The 4-4-2 didn’t yield great results, though, as Croatia registered just 1.03 expected goals. The goal it did score wasn’t from open play, instead came on a quick free kick that created a one-on-one chance for Ivan Perišić he turned into a clinical finish.

The change wasn’t a huge surprise given the 0.32 xG the Croatians created against England. While the English weren’t hugely threatening in that game after a hot start, Croatia never looked like it was winning that game.

In this match, the Croatians have more quality going forward. It’s going to be tough to match Scotland’s energy, but the likes of Perišić, Luka Modrić, Andreij Kramarić and Ante Rebić have played — and thrived — on some of the biggest stages in world soccer. While they haven’t clicked yet, there’s reason to believe they’re more likely to win this game than Scotland.

I expect Croatia will return to the 4-3-3 formation. It’s the Croatians’ bread and butter, with Marcelo Brozović providing necessary steel in the midfield to feed Mateo Kovačić and Modrić going forward.

Scotland Need to Find Attacking Spark

In its Euro 2020 opener, Scotland registered 2.31 xG, while chasing a Czech Republic team that was sitting back and hoping to defend its lead.

The Czechs were ahead 2-0 after 52 minutes, which gave the Scots plenty of time to put up what I think is a bit of a deceiving xG number. Scotland created just 0.99 xG against England in an admirable performance that was mostly focused on maintaining a strong defense.

The problem with Scotland is its lack of creativity going forward. There are quality players in defense and midfield with the likes of Kieran Tierney, Andrew Robertson, John McGinn and Scott McTominay. Even Billy Gilmour, who will miss this match after testing positive for COVID-19, looked good against England.

Up top, though, the Scots are relying on the likes of Ché Adams and Lyndon Dykes, neither of whom is especially clinical in front of goal.

I expect Scotland to start this game focused on not conceding. It will know that breaking down Croatia and having to score twice will not fit an an approach. If the Croatians score first, the Scots are all but eliminated.

Scotland will need to show more attacking initiative than it did against England and it’s tough to see that happening given its lack of quality going forward.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

While I trust Croatia more to win the game, I am drawn toward the total. I would expect under 2.5 goals to be much higher than the -122 odds it currently sits at FanDuel.

That’s a great value. It wouldn’t shock me if the first goal wins this game. Neither team has found an offensive rhythm and I think it’s more of a wish than realistic hope for both to suddenly click in this match.

While I think Croatia has the quality to get the victory, every fixture in this group has gone under the total. I’m expecting high intensity and an electric atmosphere at Hampden Park, but I’m not expecting a huge goal tally.

Pick: Under 2.5 Goals (-122)

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