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International Friendly Betting Preview: Croatia vs. Portugal

International Friendly Betting Preview: Croatia vs. Portugal


The only match on the international circuit Monday features two strong European squads as Portugal and Croatia meet in Switzerland with a 1:30pm ET kickoff.

After edging out Russia in a crucial World Cup qualifing game on Friday, Portugal heads to Geneva with some much needed confidence to face a Croatia side that was shocked at home by a third-string Scottish side.

The Croats have been in fine form throughout the qualifying, at least until Friday's home loss. Battling Belgium for the top spot in Group A, the Balkan side dropped its first game in the qualifying round and head coach Igor Stimac will expect a much better performance in today's friendly.

Croatia is the home side for today and is listed by William Hill at odds of 3.30 to win in the 1x2 market. It sports a 5-1-1 (W-L-T) record in the qualifying campaign, and before the loss to Scotland it was on a five-game win streak. Despite being listed as the underdog here, Croatia does offer decent value for the win.

The draw is listed at 3.10 while the halftime/fulltime draw is listed at 4.60, something worth consideration.

Portugal's win keeps it in contention for Brazil 2014, though it will more than likely be competing with Israel for the playoff spot and Paulo Bento will be using this game to fine tune his roster and tactics. The Portuguese are 4-1-2 during the qualifiers but haven't won their last pair of friendlies against Ecuador and Gabon. Still, the test against Croatia will demand a lot from the Portuguese and Bento will be keen to not let them become complacent.

A Portuguese victory can be taken at 2.30, with the draw/Portugal result at 6.00.

One bet I do like is the over 2.5 total goals market, which sees a payout of 2.15. In Portugal's last pair of friendlies it has seen the total goals mark hit at least four goals, while Croatia's last two friendlies have generated eight. The over 3.5 might be a bit of a stretch, but at 4.00 it is attracting some interest from some bettors.

The both teams to score bet at 1.91 does look attractive as well. With high-scoring threats on both rosters including Ivica Olic and Cristiano Ronaldo, it looks like a good selection.