Wales-Croatia Betting Preview: Mandzukic to strike first again

After both sides emerged victorious on Friday, expect the pair to find the net at the Liberty Stadium with Hugh Wilson backing a 9/2 value bet
Wales's mini-revival seems to be in full flow after a fantastic comeback last week versus Scotland.

Chris Coleman’s men trailed at half-time in Glasgow and with Welsh star Gareth Bale withdrawn at the break due to injury, it seemed as if the hosts could be about to record a morale-boosting win.

However, a red card to Scotland’s Robert Snodgrass saw Wales complete a remarkable comeback, with goals from Aaron Ramsey and Reading’s Hal Robson-Kanu ensuring a 2-1 victory.

Despite losing away to Croatia back in October, Coleman’s men have started to hit some form, winning three of their last four matches.

Although they left Scotland with three points, it’s a case of too little too late for their hopes of qualifying for the World Cup in Rio in 2014.

They currently sit in third position in group A, but trail Belgium and Croatia by seven points. The Dragons are underdogs for this clash at 4/1 (5.00) with Coral to win their third World Cup qualifying match in a row.

Croatia have been hugely impressive in qualification, remaining unbeaten, winning five games out of six matches so far.

Igor Stimac’s men beat their bitter rivals Serbia on Friday, which kept them right in the hunt to win Group A. Unsurprisingly they are favorites for this clash at 8/11 (1.73) with Coral. The same firm price the draw at 5/2 (3.50).

Despite Stimac’s men only conceding twice in their campaign so far, both goals came when Croatia were playing away from home. They have also conceded in their last five qualifiers on their travels, which makes the both teams to score bet tough to ignore at 5/4 (2.25) with Coral.

It’s also worth noting that this bet would have paid out in four of the last five matches for Wales.

For those looking for more value, the first goalscorer market provides heaps of it.

Bayern Munich star Mario Mandzukic has been on fire this season, netting 15 times for his club side. The striker is 9/2 (5.50) with Coral to open the scoring in Swansea.

Had you backed this in his last three matches for Croatia, then the bet would have paid out. For those looking to back a bet with a smaller stake, this seems to be the bet offering the best chance of higher returns.

Both teams to score at 5/4 (2.25) with Coral Mario Mandzukic to score first at 9/2 (5.50) with Coral

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