The issue with Wales’ need to play catch-up in Group D is that a must-result in Latvia their last outing is inexorably followed by a must-result at home against Croatia, and so on.
However, hosting Croatia is a much tougher game, particularly after the visitors from Sunday’s match fell 1-0 to Turkey at home on Thursday and discovered that their situation is more fragile than initially imagined.
Croatia might suffer some form of defeat.
After all, Wales drew 1-1 in Split in March, but the match-tying goal came in the dying seconds after Robert Page’s team had been significantly outplayed.
Although playing in Cardiff is a major advantage for Wales, I wouldn’t want to bet on them gaining something at the price after their convincing friendly victory over Gibraltar.
What are your best bets?
In reality, the general markets don’t offer much in the way of betting appeal, but CROATIA 14+ TOTAL SHOTS, which is available at Sky Bet for 8/11, does catch my attention.
Given their skill and the fact that Croatia controlled play in the previous match despite being in the lead for the entire of it, it’s easy to imagine the away team getting the bulk of the ball.
The team of Zlatko Dali made a total of 19 shots on that occasion, and they had made a total of 14 attempts in three of their other four games, coming close in an outstanding away victory in Turkey.
Again, a total of 14 or more shots seemed doable.
Aaron Ramsey should be replaced as the captain of Wales by Ben Davies.
Charlie Savage may keep his spot after performing well in their friendly against Gibraltar, while Harry Wilson and Dan James might start after sitting on the bench.
Andrej Kramaric and Luka Ivanusec will be absent from Croatia due to their respective injuries.
It is not difficult to picture Luka Modri serving as the inspiration for the visitors if Croatia is predicted to win.
Their midfield could provide a multitude of problems for Wales, thus adding Jordan James to the BuildABet to record 3+ tackles in the home team’s engine room seems like a sensible move.