Sunday sees a top of the table clash in Group I as leaders Croatia travel to second placed Iceland.
Both sides have made good starts the their respective qualifying campaigns, although it has been the Croatians who have particularly impressed and they overcame Iceland 2-0 when the teams met in Zagreb back in November.
What has been noticable about Ante Cacic's side so far in qualifying has been their defensive solidity, and their record of just one goal conceded in five matches certainly stands out.
Croatia are also the top scorers in the group with 11 goals netted (although six of those goals came at lowly Kosovo) and Paddy Power offer the visitors at 10/11 (1.91) to claim a win in Reykjavic. Iceland, for their part, are unbeaten in a home qualifier since June 2013, and can be backed at 29/10 (3.90) with the draw priced at 21/10 (3.10).
From an Icelandic point of view, there is unfinished business as it was Croatia who denied the tiny nation a place at the 2014 World Cup by beating them 2-0 on aggregate in a play-off. They were unable to claim revenge when they met back in November, yet the hosts will feel they can get something from the game on home soil.
Given Croatia's great defensive record, the natural tendency is to back a low-scoring game with under 2.5 goals offered at 8/13 (1.62). This bet has paid out in each of the last three meetings between the sides, although more appealing is the price of 4/5 (1.80) for opposing both teams to score.
This selection has also paid out in their last three meetings, as well as in four of Croatia's five qualifiers. In the five qualifiers that Croatia have contested so far, they have only managed to score more than a single goal in the game against minnows Kosovo.
Expect the visitors to once more keep things tight, and this should mean at least one side keeping a clean sheet.
|Both teams to score "no" at 4/5 (1.80) for a 2pt stake with Paddy Power|