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Euro 2024: Croatia vs Italy tips and predictions - Defending champions to test dodgy defence

Italy continue the defence of their European Championship title this Monday night in Leipzig against Croatia (2000 BST).

The current situation for Croatia looks bad. Okay, maybe not as bad as the early 1990s, but it’s still not pretty.

The Croats are currently bottom of their group after two winless matches – a 3-0 defeat to Spain followed by a 2-2 draw with Albania.

Perhaps the most damning statistic concerning their current Euros campaign is the number of goals conceded – five. Take the Scots out of the equation and you’re looking at the joint worst defence in the competition.

 

 

Euro 2024 offer: Bet £10 pre-match, Get a £5 free bet if both teams score 1st half

 

But just like the early 90s, there’s hope for the Croats. A win over Italy could turn the whole group upside down, with Zlatko Dalic’s side still eligible for a second-place finish.

Trouble is, Italy are a half-decent side. The defending champions don’t have that same aura they did three years ago, but you’d be stupid to count them out early.

Luciano Spalletti’s side came from behind to beat Albania in their first match before losing 1-0 to Spain courtesy of a Riccardo Calafiori own goal.

This is a hard game to call, and the fact the last three meetings ended in draws doesn’t help.

Then again, that may be a decent indicator. All three of those draws ended with the 1-1 scoreline and we certainly can’t look past history repeating itself.

With that in mind, we’re backing another draw in the betting. If you’re looking for more value, the 1-1 draw should give you that added boost in the correct score market.

 

Team news

Croatia have a fully fit squad at their disposal, bar Nikola Vlasic who left camp earlier in the tournament. 

Italy, meanwhile, could shake up their starting line up after some lacklustre displays from Gianluca Scamacca, Jorginho and Giovanni Di Lorenzo against the Spaniards. 

 

Key stats

- Last three meetings ended in 1-1 draws

- Croatia won six straight matches before the start of the Euros

- Italy have lost just one of their last eight international matches

- Croatia have conceded five goals – the most in the group

 

Suggested bets

Match result – Draw

Correct score – 1-1

Second half to produce most goals

 

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