Gareth Bale: Wales' all-time top goal scorer

Wales vs Croatia betting tips: Euro 2020 Qualifier match preview & predictions

Wales vs Croatia prediction: Wales 1-1 Croatia

An absolutely huge game for both at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Wales’ automatic qualification hopes hang by a thread and, realistically, nothing less than a win will do in this one.

Croatia meanwhile are top of this group and in a great position.

Even a win here might not seal qualification but it would virtually be enough for the World Cup Finalists.

Cardiff will be bouncing for this clash.



Highlights of Croatia 2-1 Wales

Highlights of Slovakia 1-1 Wales



Wales vs Croatia: Who will win?

Wales are the underdogs to win this match at 2/1 despite home advantage.

Croatia have never lost any of their five meetings with Wales and are 7/5 to win this one.

A draw, which is a better result for the away team, is 2/1.

Under 2.5 goals is 4/6.

Both teams to score is 5/6.

Draw and both teams to score is 3/1.

KALININGRAD, RUSSIA – JUNE 16: Luka Modrić of Croatia in action during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Group D match between Croatia and Nigeria at Kaliningrad Stadium on June 16, 2018 in Kaliningrad, Russia. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Gareth Bale is, as always, Wales’ talisman. Their leading scorer of all time is 4/1 to open the scoring and 7/4 to net anytime.

Dan James will also be a threat. He is 8/1 to break the deadlock and 7/2 to score anytime.

Bruno Petković netted a brace in Croatia’s last match. He is 11/2 to score first and 12/5 to score anytime.

Luka Modrić meanwhile scored his 16th international goal. The Real Madrid midfielder is 14/1 to score first again and 11/2 to make it two in two.

Both James and Bale to score is 12/1.

Both Harry Wilson and Bale to score is 14/1.

Both Ivan Perišić and Petković to score is also 14/1.

Both Modrić and Nikola Vlašić to score is 45/1.

Wales vs Croatia: Match preview

DUBLIN, IRELAND – OCTOBER 16: Harry Wilson of Wales celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s first goal during the UEFA Nations League B group four match between Ireland and Wales at Aviva Stadium on October 16, 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

It’s fair to say it’s been an underwhelming qualification campaign for Wales, leaving the majority of fans unconvinced by Head Coach Ryan Giggs.

This campaign started well enough; Dan James firing home on his competitive debut in a 1-0 home win over Slovakia.

But then the Dragons suffered travel sickness in their away double-header in June.

First, James Lawrence’s own goal helped see them to a 2-1 loss in Osijek in the reverse fixture of this match.

Then, three days later, Hungary beat them 1-0 in Budapest.

The latter is certainly the more disappointing of those two results.

In September, they did get back to winning ways but only by the narrowest of margins.

Gareth Bale’s late header seeing them overcome Azerbaijan at home, just.

On Thursday night, they visited Anton Malatinský Stadium in a must not lost game against Slovakia.

In the first half, Dan James’ cross picked out Kieffer Moore, on his full-debut, who headed home the opener.

Seven minutes into the second half though, the home side equalised and, despite lots of late Wales chances, 1-1 it finished in Trnava.

That means Wales are two points behind Hungary and three behind Slovakia but they do have a game in hand on both of those teams.

Next month, they play Azerbaijan in Baku before hosting Hungary to finish the campaign.

Seven points from their remaining three games would probably be enough to secure qualification.

Six, in all likelihood, would not be enough.

Thus, it is vital they get something from this game, so will it be another famous night at the Cardiff City Stadium?

Can Croatia secure qualification?

MOSCOW, RUSSIA – JULY 11: Ivan Perišić celebrates after scoring during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Semi-Final match between England and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 11, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

As for Croatia, it’s certainly been an eventful year and a half for them.

In the summer of 2018, wins over Nigeria, Argentina, Iceland, Denmark, hosts Russia and England took them all the way to the World Cup Final.

There, they were beaten 4-2 by France but it was still an incredible achievement for a country with a population of just 4.154 million.

However, since then, they have struggled.

Last autumn, they finished bottom of UEFA Nations League Group A4, below England and Spain.

This campaign has also, largely, been a struggle for them too.

On matchday one in March, they had to come from a goal down to beat Azerbaijan 2-1 at home.

Then, three days later, despite taking an early lead through Ante Rebić, they lost 2-1 to Hungary in Budapest.

That was just their fourth defeat in qualifiers since 2013.

They are unbeaten since then but have been far from convincing.

In June, Ivan Perišić’s swivelled finish helped them to that afore mentioned 2-1 win over Wales at home.

Then came by far their best performance, arguably, since the World Cup Group Stages.

Nikola Vlašić, Perišić, Bruno Petković and Dejan Lovren all scored as they hammered Slovakia 4-0 away from home.

But then, they could not follow it up.

Luka Modrić’s early penalty opened the scoring in Baku but they went on to draw 1-1 with Azerbaijan.

That is the host’s only point of qualifying so far.

Nevertheless, that did not effect them.

On Thursday, three goals in the first half saw them sweep Hungary aside 3-0 at the superb Stadion Poljud.

That means Zlatko Dalić’s side have 13 points and are three clear at the top of Group E.

They need one win from their last two matches, either here or at home to Slovakia next month, to qualify.

Will the away supporters be celebrating in Cardiff?

Wales team news vs Croatia

CARDIFF, WALES – SEPTEMBER 06: Aaron Ramsey of Wales celebrates after scoring his team’s third goal during the UEFA Nations League B group four match between Wales and Republic of Ireland at Cardiff City Stadium on September 6, 2018 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

After an energy sapping trip to Slovakia as recently as Thursday, Ryan Giggs might be tempted to make a few changes to his side for this one.

Wayne Hennessey is an ever present in goal despite his lack of club football this year.

He will win his 87th, only two men have won more caps for Wales.

In defence, Tom Lockyer was surprisingly chosen ahead of Ashley Williams on Thursday but is likely to keep his place.

With Chris Mepham injured, Joe Rodon will be the other centre-back.

Connor Roberts and Ben Davies will once again be the full-backs, chosen ahead of Neil Taylor and Chris Gunter.

In midfield, he’s yet to make his RB Leipzig but Ethan Ampadu remains the anchor of this team.

Joe Allen will partner the teenager.

Further forward is where Giggs has lots of options.

Aaron Ramsey did not travel to Slovakia in mid-week to work on his fitness.

Nevertheless, the Juventus man is unlikely to start but could come off the bench for his first Wales appearance since November 2018.

There’s still likely to be one change from Thursday.

Jonny Williams probably does not have the fitness to start again so Harry Wilson is expected to come in for him.

Gareth Bale and Dan James will make up a frightening, free-flowing attacking trio.

Up front, Kieffer Moore’s goal on Thursday should be enough to see him retain his place in the side.

Only two teams (Ireland and Denmark) have left Wales victorious in competitive fixtures since September 2013.

That’s just two defeats in 15 matches.

Will it be another famous night in Cardiff?

Croatia team news vs Wales

KALININGRAD, RUSSIA – JUNE 16: Luka Modrić of Croatia celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s second goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group match between Croatia and Nigeria at Kaliningrad Stadium on June 16, 2018 in Kaliningrad, Russia. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

As for Croatia, Zlatko Dalić has some of the best players on the planet available to him.

In goal, after Danijel Subašić retired last summer, the gloves were up for grabs.

Aston Villa’s Lovre Kalinić was the number one during the Nations League but now Dominik Livaković is firmly first-choice.

Their centre-back pairing remains Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren and Domagoj Vida of Beşiktaş.

Tin Jedvaj will continue to fill in at right-back with Borna Barišić of Rangers on the other side.

In midfield is where they have an array of talent.

Captain Luka Modrić and Marcelo Brozović will be deeper behind Ivan Rakitić.

That would mean Chelsea’s Mateo Kovačić is left in reserve

Out wide will be Ante Rebić and Ivan Perišić, both chosen over Nikola Vlašić.

Up front, they’re still trying to fill the void left by Mario Mandžukić.

Bruno Petković is doing a decent job mind, having scored four times in six caps including a brace on Thursday.

Will this side get the win they need to all but secure qualification?

Predicted Wales line-up vs Croatia

Predicted Wales line-up vs Croatia

Predicted Wales line-up vs Croatia.

Predicted Croatia line-up vs Wales

Predicted Croatia line-up vs Wales

Predicted Croatia line-up vs Wales.

Highlights of Wales 1-0 Slovakia

Highlights of Hungary 1-0 Wales

Highlights of Wales 2-1 Azerbaijan

Highlights of Croatia 3-2 Spain

The latest tweets from Wales pre Croatia

The latest tweets from Croatia pre Wales

All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.

Why you need a VPN?
Cut chords:
Watch everything (Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu) online using a VPN.
Unlock geoblocking:
A VPN gives you access to the best content from anywhere in the world.
Privacy & security:
A VPN keeps your information private, activity encrypted & data anonymous.
Just $6.67 a month + 3 months free!

Paddy Power's new customer offer: £20 risk free first bet!