Kick-off: 1945, 05/09/2020
Stadium: Estadio Do Dragao
TV: Sky Sports
Portugal are strongly fancied to begin the defence of their Nations League crown with a victory over Croatia in Porto on Saturday.
The visitors do not seem to have full respect for this competition and are without key midfielders Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic.
We’re snapping up 17/20 for a home win as our first Portugal vs Croatia prediction.
A Look At Portugal’s Betting Odds
Portugal saw off Italy and Portugal at the group stage two years ago before taking advantage of being hosts in the closing stages.
The Navigators beat Switzerland 3-1 in the semi-finals and then claimed a 1-0 triumph over Netherlands in the decider.
Euro 2020 qualifying wasn’t quite so impressive, but just one defeat in eight fixtures saw them advance as runners-up to Ukraine.
Fernando Santos heads into this pool with a settled squad which should only get better and better, until Cristiano Ronaldo hangs up his boots.
Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, Ruben Neves and Andre Silva are all in their prime, while Joao Felix remains one of the hottest prospects on the planet.
“These Nations League matches are ones we are aiming to win; we never set out without this goal in mind,” insisted Santos.
He hinted there may be some scope for experimenting in the build-up to the delayed European Championship, but getting off to a fast start is the priority for now.
Looking at the Portugal vs Croatia odds, we like 7/4 for a home win to nil.
A Look At Croatia’s Betting Odds
Croatia were competitive at home in the inaugural staging of this event, taking four points off England and Spain, but lost 2-1 and 6-0 on the road.
There was a similar theme to Euro 2020 qualifying, with four straight home wins helping the Blazers to finish above Wales at the summit of Group E.
However, just one away victory again highlighted how Croatia tend to pick and choose when they want to turn it on.
There are still a number of top-notch performers in Zlatko Dalic’s squad, including Ivan Perisic, Andrej Kramaric, Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic.
They may lack leadership without Modric and Rakitic, though, plus Dalic seems more focused on preparing for future assignments.
He stated: “Results in the Nations League are important to us, but our priority is the health of players and preparation for the World Cup qualifiers and Euro 2020.”
Let’s finish off our Portugal vs Croatia betting tips by taking 29/4 for an efficient 2-0 home win.
Luxembourg 0-2 PORTUGAL – Fernandes, Ronaldo
CROATIA 2-1 Georgia – Kashia, Perisic
Head-to-head: Portugal 1-1 Croatia, Croatia 0-1 Portugal, Croatia 0-1 Portugal, Portugal 2-0 Croatia, Croatia 0-3 Portugal
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