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Vicente del Bosque's men go into their final Group C clash knowing that a draw will be enough for a last-eight berth but Willie Duncan expects them to finish with a victory

Spain are firmly in the driving seat in the race to qualify for the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 after a thumping 4-0 win over Republic of Ireland last Thursday, but Vicente del Bosque’s side are expected to face a much stiffer test of their championship credentials when they take on Slaven Bilic’s Croatia on Monday.

Like the Spaniards, Croatia have garnered four points from their opening two matches and know that victory here would assure them of a place in the last eight as Group C winners.

Spain, though, are warm favourites ahead of this meeting in Gdansk and are chalked up at 7/10 (1.70) with PanBet to pick up all three points here and, given La Furia Roja’s complete dominance in recent tournaments, that looks to be an outstanding price.

Slaven Bilic’s men are priced up at 38/5 (8.60) with PanBet to stun the defending European and world champions while the same firm go 21/10 (3.10) that the match ends all square.

Those who enjoy conspiracies will have noted that a 2-2 draw between these sides would see them both progress to the last eight irrespective of Italy’s result against Ireland and bookmakers PanBet have responded by chalking that result up at just 9/2 (5.50).

To suggest that such an outcome is likely, though, would be disrespectful to both Spain and Croatia and both sides should be expected to go for victory here.

Spain were extremely impressive against the Irish and should they replicate that performance, the 9/5 (2.80) with PanBet for Del Bosque's men to lead at both half-time and full time could represent good value.

Croatia have scored four goals in their opening two matches and were unlucky not to claim all three points from their 1-1 draw with Italy, so the overs market at PanBet’s 39/50 (1.78) looks to be a lively runner. Even more appealing, though, is the 9/4 (3.25) with the same firm that three or more goals are scored and that Spain emerge as match winners.

The chunky 13/1 (14.0) quote from PanBet for Spain to win 3-1 and that is worthy of support here as is the tasty 7/10 (1.70) available on yet another Spanish victory, which should be the main selection. Spain are a class above their opposition here and will want to ensure they maintain their forward momentum ahead of the knockout stages.

Spain to beat Croatia at 7/10 (1.70) with PanBet
Spain to win 3-1 at 13/1 (14.0) with Pan Bet

Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter here.

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