Euro 2016 Qualifying (Group stage) Match Preview: Croatia vs. Azerbaijan

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Updated: October 13, 2014
Croatia

Match Date: 13 October 2014 (local)

Match Venue: Stadion Gradski vrt, Osijek

(Featured image: Croatia | Source: ESPN)

 

Between Croatia and Azerbaijan, the former have a better international record. Croatia have already placed third in the World Cup once and in the quarter-finals twice in the Euro Championships. Azerbaijan, meanwhile, have yet to earn a place in those competitions.

 

Croatia

Thus far, Croatia are making a magnificent run in the Euro Championship qualifiers. The side remain unbeaten in group H, level on points with Italy but a little behind in terms of goal difference. The side have won against Malta and Bulgaria, and on both occasions, they scored a clean sheet. Three players emerged as the squad’s best performers: Luka Modric, Andrej Kramaric, and Nikolay Bodurov. Mario Mandzukic was also in his better form.

 

Of their last 11 matches, Croatia have only been defeated twice, but they were able to net a goal on both times. A marvelous defense and a strong attack helped them win six of those matches without conceding a single goal. They have only been rendered goalless once, on an encounter against Iceland that eventually ended in a draw.

 

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan suffered back-to-back defeats in their opening matches in the Euro 2016 qualifications. Their brawl against Bulgaria concluded with just one goal in their score sheet, while two for their opponents’. Just recently, they replicated the same result and lost again all the spoils to Italy. The team currently rank just a spot above the group table’s bottom.

 

“Unfortunately we lost against a great team, but we’re happy for the goal,” said team coach Berti Vogts. “We are also pleased with how we played the game, but it is not easy to play well against Italy.”

 

Football betting tip: Croatia will stun Azerbaijan with a clean sheet victory.