Euro 2016 qualifier: Win against Croatia crucial for Italy to top Group H
Italy are 9/4 outsiders with Coral to beat Croatia away from home, though the Azzurri need to produce a spectacular performance if they are to top their group.
They currently trail the Croats by two points, and were held to a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture last November, with Ivan Perisic cancelling out an Antonio Candreva opener. The two are 11/4 and 11/2 respectively to notch again in the anytime market.
Graziano Pelle ended the season well for Southampton, and also dispatched against England in a recent friendly, so Italy will need him on top form, is they are to topple Croatia. The imposing centre forward is 15/8 in the anytime market, while Claudio Marchisio, who recently played in the Champions League final with Juventus, is a 5/1 shot.
Pelle spoke recently regarding his season at the Saints after Arsenal’s victory over Aston Villa secured the club Europa League football for next term.
“It was an amazing victory,” said Pelle. “We are happy for not only the crowd but also the competition because the win means a lot for the ranking.
“Again it was an amazing way to end the season at home but it’s not finished yet so we can’t celebrate, but we are happy with the win,” he continued.
“Sometimes we can’t understand how we can play those amazing games and sometimes we can’t show the quality we have.
“But we are happy because I keep saying many times how much quality we have and we showed it. We hoped to show more but we can’t cry at what’s happened, we have to look forward.”
Perhaps the outstanding feature of this Croatia team, though, is their spine. With Dejan Lovren and Vedran Corluka a rugged presence at the back, and Milan Badelj holding things together in midfield, along with the outstanding Ivan Rakitic, who has just won the treble with Barcelona, and then the creative talent of Alen Halilovic behind Mario Mandzukic, Croatia represent a side who can cause problems.
Mandzukic, who is currently at Atletico, has struck 20 goals this season in La Liga, and will arguably be the most credible goal threat on the field, which is why he is 7/4 to strike anytime and 6/1 to break the deadlock.
Leicester City striker, Andrej Kramaric, meanwhile, ended the season well for the Foxes and is an 11/4 chance in the anytime market.
Coral Recommended tip: Pelle anytime scorer @ 15/8