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Croatia vs Malta Prediction & Match Preview

 

Croatia vs Malta Prediction & Match Preview

Croatia

Malta

30 March 2021 18:45 UK/ 19:45 CET World Cup Qual

David faces Goliath at Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb as Croatia and Malta go head to head in the World Cup qualifier. 


The Croats quickly bounced back from a heart-breaking loss to their neighbours Slovenia, with the team beating Cyprus thanks to Mario Pasalic’s goal. 

Zlatko Dalic’s men aim to overtake Russia in top position in the standings, and we are positive that they will go all guns blazing at the minnows.

Even though Real Madrid superstar Luka Modric is likely to be rested in Tuesday’s qualifier, home win should be considered. 

Besiktas defender Domagoj Vida should be recalled to the starting XI, as well as Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic. 

Malta, on the other hand, did well to hold Slovakia to a 2-2 draw in their second group game, but given their shaky defence, anything but a routine home win would be a major surprise.

Croatia vs Malta: Head to Head

Teams Croatia Malta played so far 6 matches.
Croatia won 5 direct matches. Malta won 0 matches. 1 matches ended in a draw. On average in direct matches both teams scored a 2.50 goals per Match.

Croatia vs Malta: Prediction

Croatia in actual season average scored 1.59 goals per match. In 15 (88.24%) matches played at home was total goals (team and opponent) Over 1.5 goals. In 13 (76.47%) matches in season 2021 played at home was total goals (team and opponent) Over 2.5 goals.

Malta average scored 0.83 goals per match in season 2021. In 9 (69.23%) matches played away was total goals (team and opponent) Over 1.5 goals. In 7 (53.85%) matches played away team was total goals (team and opponent) Over 2.5 goals.

Team News:

As mentioned, Kramaric's ankle injury has ruled him out of this game, so Ante Budimir should be handed another chance up top unless Perisic is shifted to a central role.

Luka Modric became his country's all-time most capped player after turning out for the 135th time in Croatian colours against Cyprus, but his 35-year-old legs may not be ready for a third start in the space of a week, so Mateo Kovacic could return here.

Nikola Vlasic and Domagoj Vida are also candidates to return to the first XI this week, while Dinamo Zagreb's Europa League hero Mislav Orsic has appeared twice off the bench now and will also hope to be given a chance to impress from the off.

In contrast, Malta boss Mangia has very few concerns up top and is blessed with an array of attacking options, although Satariano is in no position to relinquish his spot despite pressure from Luke Montebello, who has now gone nine games without opening his account for the national team.

It would be harsh for Mangia to drop any member of the XI from their draw with Slovakia, but tired legs could force his hand, meaning that Kyrian Nwoko will hope to earn a recall to the starting lineup.

Midfield lynchpin Matthew Guillaumier has played 180 minutes in the space of three days and could therefore be one player that Mangia opts to rest, with Bjorn Kristensen capable of filling the void in the engine room.

Croatia possible starting lineup:
Livakovic; Juranovic, Vida, Caleta-Car, Barisic; Kovacic, Brozovic; Vlasic, Pasalic, Orsic; Budimir

Malta possible starting lineup:
Bonello, Agius, Shaw, Borg; J. Mbong, Kristensen, Teuma, Camenzuli; Nwoko, Gambin; Satariano


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