After taking extreme measures to continue the fight for a place in the 2018 World Cup Russia, Croatia opens on Thursday, November 9, their battle to stamp the passport. At the Maksimir stadium in Zagreb, you will receive Greece. The start of the match is scheduled for 5:45 pm (Brasília time).
The definition of the vacancy will be defined in two headings. The return match is scheduled for November 12 at the Georgios Karaiskakis stadium in Piraeus. The regulation establishes the goal balance as the first tiebreaker and, if necessary, the qualified goal criterion will be used to define the match.
Croatia’s recent performance
This puts more pressure on Croatia in the first game against a team recognized for its solid defensive system. However, nothing that could be compared to the situation faced by the players in the last double round that defined the teams with direct vacancy for the Russian World Cup through the European qualifiers.
After drawing 1-1 with Finland in the ninth of the planned 10 rounds, the federation’s management fired the 64-year-old coach Ante Cacic, giving Zlatko Dalic three days before the duel against Ukraine in the field of the opponent.
Despite the unusual situation, the change was successful when considering the result. The Croatians defeated the Ukrainians 2-0 to reach second place in Group I by reaching 20 points (six wins, two draws and two losses). They left the Ukrainians, with 17, behind and managed to survive in the fight to be the fourth best placed second in the comparison between the nine groups. The direct vacancy that the key granted in the 2018 World Cup was in the hands of Iceland, which had 22 points (seven wins, one draw and two losses).
Owners of accurate technique, the Croats showed an evolution in their defensive system in the dispute. They were leaked only four times. None of the teams that are in the repechage were better.
Commanded by coach Zlatko Dalic, the team started to present a rather conservative tactic. It has a line of four defenders protected by two containment handwheels. Three socks make the connection with the attack. In front is isolated the biggest highlight of the team: Mario Mandzukic, Juventus. The attacker, however, is not at his best. In ten matches for the alvinegro in the Italian Championship made just two goals.
Although the country started playing international tournaments in the early 1990s after the division of Yugoslavia, Croatia managed to qualify for six of the seven major tournaments since then. The great highlight was the participation in the World Cup of France, of 1998. In its debut in the world-wide ones, it reached the third position. Since then, it has qualified for all cups, except for South Africa, which was disputed in 2010. However, it has not passed the first phase.
current form of Greece
The Greeks also needed the result of the last round of European qualifying to ensure mathematically the second place in group H and have the right to play the recapture. But in a much quieter situation than the Croats. They faced the fragile selection of Gibraltar and could still work at home. They thrashed 4 to 0 with 19 points (five wins, four draws and a loss).
They overcame the Bosnia and Herzegovina team by two points, but it looked as if they could go further. They held a fierce contest in the first round with the Belgians, who took first place with 28 (nine wins and a draw) of the 30 possible points.
However, goalless draws with Bosnia and Herzegovina (outside) and Estonia (at home) made the team a disadvantage in the direct confrontation with Belgium. On Greek soil, they ended up losing 2-1 to run out of first place.
The Greeks managed to qualify for the two most recent World Cups. However, they were not successful in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and 2014 in Brazil. To try
Coach Michael Skibbe, however, will have problems in his most important sector to try to hold the Croats. Defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos was injured in the match on Saturday, November 4, when he defended Bayer Munich. He was summoned, but he will hardly be able to play on Thursday.
The situation was complicated by the suspension of also defender Kostas Manolas, of Rome. He was punished by FIFA (International Football Federation) for having forced the second yellow card before an unimportant game for the Greeks thus getting a “clean sheet.” The world governing body is often involved in money-laundering scandals of TV rights sales and buying votes to set up world-class venues and found the attitude reprehensible and suspended the player from the first match against the Croatians.
For the duels were called the following athletes:
Goalkeepers: Orestis Karnezis, Stefanos Kapino, Giannis Anestis
Defenders: Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Kostas Manolas, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Vassilis Torosidis, Kostas Stafylidis, Marios Oikonomou, Dimitris Kolovetsios, Georgios Tzavellas, Panagiotis Retsos, Charalampos Lykogiannis
Socks: Andreas Samaris, Panagiotis Tachtsidis, Giannis Maniatis, Zeca, Alexandros Tziolis, Dimitrios Kourmpelis, Kostas Fortounis, Dimitris Pelkas, Anastasios Bakasetas, Lazaros Christodoulopoulos
Attackers: Kostas Mitroglou, Dimitrios Diamantakos, Giannis Gianniotas, Apostolos Vellios
History of the matches Croatia vs Greece
Before the duel valued vacant for the World Cup Russia 2018 Croats and Greeks have faced six times. The draws were recorded in half of the matches. Greece won twice and the Croatians only won in one shot.
The first encounters between the national teams were in the qualifiers for the 1998 World Cup in France. In Croatia, there was a 1: 1 match. In Greece, visitors, who would reach the semifinals of the World Cup in their first participation, 1 to 0.
They also came face to face in the Euro 2012 qualifiers. There was a goalless draw in Croatia and Greek home win 2-0.
There is no doubt about the tactical posture of the teams. It will be up to the Croats to take the initiative of the game, although with some caution due to the criterion of the qualified goal. The Greeks will surely close in defense seeking the empath to seek definition in their territory.
In this battle between moderate attack and close defense, Greece’s embezzlement makes Croatia’s guess the best fit for the first playoff game. The price for the constituents’ victory is 1.36 on Bet365. Draw shows return of 4.75 and success of visitors allows the multiplication by 13.00 of invested capital.