Tag Archive | "Croatia Euro 2012"

2012 Euro Cup Odds & Picks: Croatia vs. Spain Match Odds & Preview

Croatia vs. Spain Match Analysis: Fix Could Be In For 2-2 Draw: The Croatia Euro 2012 campaign might have come across a stroke of luck. The final fixture in Group C for the Croats looked to be the most difficult one against Spain, but thanks to common hatred of the Italians and the desire for both to get through to the second round of this tournament, we could see some real shenanigans taking place on the pitch at Arena Gdansk. Our Croatia vs. Spain free picks, predictions, and tips definitely are calling for a suspect result to say the least.

Spain is the team that is in the best shape in this match. As long as the Spaniards procure at least a point, regardless of what the final score actually reads, they will be through to the second round. A draw of 2-2 or greater though, and they are guaranteed to be the Group C winners and will await the runner up of Group D in the quarterfinals, thus also avoiding Germany until the finals of this event. For Croatia, that 2-2 draw is the key result. Scoring at least twice and drawing or winning would give the Croats the second spot in the quarterfinals out of Group C. That being said, with the mutual result helping both sides, we could be seeing some real antics here, just as we saw eight years ago when Denmark and Sweden played to a 2-2 draw in Euro 2004 to knock this very same Italian team out of this tournament.

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Croatia vs. Spain Schedule and Match Information
Croatia vs. Spain Match Date/Time: Monday, June 18th, 2:45 p.m. (ET)
Croatia vs. Spain Stadium: Arena Gdansk
Croatia vs. Spain on TV: ESPN, ESPN3.com, ESPN Deportes
Click Here to bet on Croatia vs. Spain Euro 2012!
Croatia vs. Spain Match Odds: Spain -1 (-125)
Croatia vs. Spain Betting Line Total: 2.5 (Over -140)

What we have seen out of Croatia in these opening two matches of this tournament is some fantastic defense. Against Ireland in the opening fixture of Group C, we saw the Croats really dominate the possession of the ball, especially early in the second half when the match got out of hand. Yes, they did end up conceding a goal in the first half, but that was entirely a matter of fluke more so than anything else. The second match against Italy was certainly a heck of a lot more difficult, and though the Italians did win the battle of possession by a slender margin, their seven attempts on target were one shy of what the Croats were able to put on Gigi Buffon. In the end, Andrea Pirlo’s goal in the 39th minute was cancelled out by a late goal by Mario Mandzukic, which gave Croatia the much needed point that it had to have to really have a legitimate shot of getting into the quarterfinals coming into this fixture.

If Spain wants to win this match, it will likely end up doing just that. The Spaniards have been the dominating side here in Group C, scoring five goals against just one conceded, and the truth of the matter is that they should have bagged at least one or two more against the Italians in the opening match. If that were the case, Spain wouldn’t still have work to do to qualify for the second round as it has right now. Losing this fixture would see it out of the tournament in all likelihood, and that is a factor that cannot be forgotten. Fernando Torres logged a double against Ireland, and that was just a part of the massive 4-0 onslaught that ensured that the Spanish would likely be okay in this tournament to get into the knockout rounds. It was clearly the most dominating match that we have seen in Euro 2012 to date, and we really don’t anticipate seeing a heck of a lot more impressive of a showing out of any side still in this field at this point. The Spaniards really are the best team in this tournament, and they are still aiming for that third straight major tournament title, joining their Euro 2008 and World Cup 2010 crowns.

Croatia vs. Spain Match Preview & Analysis: Still, we think that that 2-2 draw is just too enticing to pass up. The price on the draw has dipped a bit in this match over the course of the last few days, but we still think that the Euro 2012 odds are going to shake out in such a way that it helps both of these clubs. There just isn’t a reason to try to do anything else. What would be better for the Spaniards? Knocking out Italy now, or potentially having to face them down the road in the Euro 2012 Finals? And for Croatia, this is self-explanatory. Getting into the knockout rounds and keeping its tournament alive is of the utmost importance. It might look a little shady in the end, but we still think that this match has a 2-2 draw written all over it.

Croatia vs. Spain Punting Tip: Exact Score 2-2 Draw (+900) @ BetOnline Sportsbook

Croatia vs. Spain Score Prediction: Croatia 2 – Spain 2

Posted in Euro 2012, Featured

2012 Euro Cup Odds & Picks: Italy vs. Croatia Match Odds & Preview

Italy vs. Croatia Match Analysis: Upset Could Be Brewing For Croats: Italy and Croatia are two of the three teams that figure to be in the running to get into the quarterfinals, and these two could be in the decisive match on Thursday. The Italians know that they have all of the pressure in the world on them to take three points from this fixture, but the Croatians aren’t going to go quietly either. Try to beat the Euro 2012 betting odds with our Italy vs. Croatia tips and predictions.

It is clear that Italy’s Euro 2012 chances might come down to this. The team did a nice job surviving, getting a point out of the first match of the tourney against Spain, and getting three points in this match might get the team going once again, especially with what should be the easiest match on the docket coming in the finale against Ireland. Meanwhile, Croatia already has its three points against the Irish under its belt, and it has to find some way to eke more points out of these matches between Italy and Spain coming up.

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Italy vs. Croatia Schedule and Match Information
Italy vs. Croatia Match Date/Time: Thursday, June 14th, 12:00 p.m. (ET)
Italy vs. Croatia Stadium: Stadion Miejski, Poznan
Italy vs. Croatia on TV: ESPN2, ESPN3.com, ESPN Deportes
Click Here to bet on Italy vs. Croatia Euro 2012!
Italy vs. Croatia Match Odds: Italy -0.5 (+135)
Italy vs. Croatia Betting Line Total: 2 (Over -115)

Italy came up with one of the best performances that we have seen from a team here on the Euro 2012 odds when it was able to stick with the Spaniards for a much deserved draw. It was a touch and go affair for the majority of the effort, but in the end, the 1-1 score line was probably deserved. Gianluigi Buffon the captain of the Italian team, was one of the stars of the match, as he stopped a ton of remarkable Spanish efforts in his box. It was substitute Antonio Di Natale who scored the lone goal of the match though, and it came right when he got onto the pitch against a sometimes suspect Spanish defense. Don’t think that Italy had a great defensive effort, though. There were plenty of holes that could have, lest perhaps should have been exploited, but thanks to Buffon, the point was procured.

The Croats were clearly the better team in the opening match of its tournament. The Irish didn’t even get a single corner against Croatia, and they really struggled just to get any opportunities on goal. It was a particularly strong match for Mario Mandzukic. He tallied two goals, one right at the start of the first half, and one at the outset of the second half to really put the match to rest. Nikica Jelavic, a man that we warned was going to be one of the heroes for this Croatian team at the outset, also scored the go-ahead goal right before the intermission that proved to be the winner.

Italy vs. Croatia Match Preview & Analysis: There really is a heck of a lot of pressure here on Italy, and we think that it could be in some trouble as a result. This team really didn’t play all that well at times against Spain, and we have to remember that there just weren’t all that many great results in friendly matches coming into this one. Croatia is beaming with confidence, and that could be the difference in what might be a remarkable match to watch. Don’t be all that shocked if the Croats lock up their place in the second round by winning this fixture.

Italy vs. Croatia Punting Tip: Croatia +0.5 (-150) @ BetOnline Sportsbook

Italy vs. Croatia Score Prediction: Italy 1 – Croatia 2

Posted in Euro 2012, Featured

Group C Euro Cup Odds: Ireland vs. Croatia Predicted Results

Ireland vs. Croatia Picks: Irish To Cling To Draw: The Republic of Ireland vs. Croatia odds should be considered awfully tight on Saturday afternoon at the Stadion Miejski in Poznan, as the two bottom feeding teams in Group C are going to have at it in a crucial fixture. Should there be a winner of this match, that team will go a long way towards potentially shocking Euro 2012 and making it into the quarterfinals of this event.

One would think, based upon the FIFA World Rankings alone, that the Croats should be able to succeed in this spot. Croatia is one of the Top 15 ranked teams in the world. Ireland is nowhere to be found in the Top 25. Alas, both of these teams have had their struggles of late in major tournaments. The Irish couldn’t even qualify for most of the events, and even when they are getting there, they really haven’t had a heck of a lot to smile about. They haven’t been in the knockout rounds of a major tournament since the 2002 World Cup, and they have never been in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Euro Cup either. At least Croatia had that epic third place finish in France in World Cup 98, a World Cup that Ireland was not even a part of.

Ireland vs. Croatia Schedule and Match Information
Ireland vs. Croatia Match Date/Time: Saturday, June 10th, 2:45 p.m. (ET)
Ireland vs. Croatia Stadium: Stadion Miejski
Ireland vs. Croatia on TV: ESPN, ESPN3.com, ESPN Deportes
Click Here to bet on Ireland vs. Croatia Euro 2012!
Ireland vs. Croatia Match Odds: Croatia -0.5 (+120)
Ireland vs. Croatia Betting Line Total: 2 (Over -110)

On the pitch itself this time around though, the question is going to be whether either side is going to be able to really get their offense going. For Ireland, the man of the hour is going to be Robbie Keane, who is taking a hiatus from the Los Angeles Galaxy and the MLS to make it here to the Euros. He has 53 goals for his country, and it is clear that when he is on his game, he is the best that the Republic of Ireland has to offer. Kevin Doyle should get the nod at the other striker position and he has 10 goals in 48 career games.

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Croatia though, is being a heck of a lot quieter about its plans for this fixture. The possibility is there that the Croats are going to want to keep more at the back to counter what should be a more offensive Irish side. That being said, we just don’t know, beyond Josip Simunic and Vedran Corluka, whether the lack of experience is going to cost the team if that is its strategy or not. We know that Nikica Jelavic is going to be all over the field, just as he was for Everton this year, though he is clearly going to have to improve upon his two goals in 19 career fixtures to help Croatia make it into the knockout rounds.

The good news for both sides is that there is plenty of experience in net. Shay Given has been around this Ireland team for quite some time, and he is used to playing against the highest level of competition in the world. On the other side though, Stipe Pletikosa has played in 91 games for his country, including three here in the Euros, and he shouldn’t be forgotten either.

Ireland vs. Croatia Match Preview & Analysis: In the end, we really think that the draw is the best option in this one. Both of these sides should be full of gusto at the outset of this tournament, and we think that both are going to end up grabbing a goal, and a point.

Ireland vs. Croatia Punting Tip: Draw (11/5) @ BetOnline Sportsbook

Ireland vs. Croatia Score Prediction: Ireland 1 – Croatia 1

Posted in Euro 2012, Featured

Euro Cup 2012 Tips & Predictions: Croatia UEFA Euro 2012 Odds

UEFA Euro 2012 Predictions: Jelavic, Modric Hope To Carry Croatia: Croatia Euro 2012 is going to be tough to say the least for the Croats, knowing that they are in a group with Spain and Italy, two of the top teams in the world. Beating the Euro 2012 betting lines could be crucial for Croatia, as the team really hasn’t had a heck of a lot to be all that happy about since finishing in third place at the 1998 World Cup.

Croatia is ranked No. 8 in the world, and it is the team that could be sneaky in this group. Obviously, Spain is the cream of the crop in Group C, but the Italians, the 2006 World Cup winners, are the second choices to come out of the group. Croatia is actually ranked four spots ahead of Italy on the FIFA World Rankings though, so this could be very interesting to say the least. The Croats are beginning with what should be the easiest match in this group against Ireland, and if that match is lost, it is likely going to be a long, uphill battle to get them into the quarterfinals of this tournament.

Croatia Euro 2012 Schedule
Sunday June 10th: Ireland vs. Croatia 2:45 p.m. (ET) (ESPN)
Thursday June 14th: Italy vs. Croatia 12:00 p.m. (ET) (ESPN2)
Monday June 18th: Croatia vs. Spain 2:45 p.m. (ET) (ESPN)

Manager Slaven Bilic has a few strikers that he really can count on for goals. Eduardo is the team’s best goal scorer right now, as he has 23 strikes in his 47 career matches for his team. Nikica Jelavic was a great player for Everton FC this year in the Premier League, and he hopes that that great season at the top flight of English soccer can get him on track here for his country in Euro 2012.

Over the course of the rest of the pitch, there is a lot of experience. Luka Modric and Darijo Srna both have goals in this tournament in the past, and they are two of the best midfielders that this team have to offer. Niko Kranjcar has 71 appearances an 15 goals for his country, while Ognjen Vukojevin has gotten four goals in his 39 matches for his team. Ivan Rakitic will surely be used as well. The 24-year old has eight goals at 41 caps, and he is just 24 years old.

Qualifying for Euro 2012 was difficult for the Croats. They ran into Greece, a team that went through the qualification process without a defeat. Then they had to take on Turkey, a team that made it to the semifinals of Euro 2008 in the playoff. It’s not that the Croats won that home and home series that was so surprising. It was that the team won 3-0 in Istanbul and held on easily for that 3-0 aggregate victory. Since then, goals have been aplenty in Croatia’s lead up matches to this tournament. A 1-1 draw against Norway was the lowest scorer of the bunch, as the others featured 3-1 finals, a win against Estonia, and a loss against Sweden.

Croatia 2012 Euro Championship Tips & Predictions: It isn’t going to be an easy road for Croatia. The team is +700 at BetOnline.com to win Group C, which seems to be a tremendous overlay when you compare that Italy is +300. The Croats are +160 to advance into the second round of the tourney, and they are +5000 to win the title. We could see how they could get out of the first round if Italy ends up slipping as we could see happening, but after that, the likelihood of facing an England or France in the quarterfinals just doesn’t look all that great.

Posted in Euro 2012, Featured


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