Two sides set for Brazil this summer face off in St Gallen, with Hugh Wilson backing Ottmar Hitzfeld's men to get the better of Niko Kovac's side againSwitzerland and Croatia face off this week in their first friendly in preparation for the World Cup in the summer. Both sides qualified for Brazil, with Switzerland winning their group, with Croatia having to come through the play-offs, beating Iceland over two legs.
Ottmar Hitzfeld's side went through their group unbeaten, winning seven of their 10 matches to top the group by seven points. Being drawn alongside Iceland, Slovenia and Norway amongst others, they had a relatively straight forward route to the finals. The same could be said for their group in Brazil, where they will face France, Honduras and Ecuador. Paddy Power price them at 13/10 (2.30) to win this friendly.
In contrast to Switzerland, Croatia struggled through their qualifying group, winning only half of their matches to finish in the play-off spot. With three losses in their last four qualifying matches, they faced Iceland in poor form, but managed to battle through to secure their spot.
With a new manager, Niko Kovac, now in charge, this match will be hugely important for him to find out his best 11 before Brazil in June.
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Croatia have a tough group at the World Cup, drawing the hosts Brazil, Cameroon and Mexico. Paddy Power price them at 19/10 (2.90) to beat Switzerland on Wednesday, with the same firm pricing the draw at 23/10 (3.30).
Despite losing their last friendly to Korea in November, Ottmar Hitzfeld's men have a good record in these matches. Since 2012, they have beaten the likes of Germany, Tunisia and Brazil, also coming out on top against Croatia away, winning 4-2.
With Croatia still in a rebuilding stage with a new manager in charge, it's likely Kovac will make some changes for this match and experiment with his side. With that in mind and considering how well Switzerland have performed in friendlies recently, backing the home side to carry on their fine form, three wins in their last four, at 13/10 (2.30) seems like a price worth taking advantage of.
|Switzerland to win at 13/10 (2.30) 1pt with Paddy Power
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