Our football match prediction:
Thanks to a 2-0 win over Ukraine Croatia booked their place in the 2018 World Cup play-offs. The Vatreni proved their worth in the victory over Andriy Shevchenko’s men, but they have yet to get their job done. The Croats face Greece in the double-header and Zlatko Dalic’s men will have to be at their sharpest in the play-offs if they are to book their place at the next year’s showpiece tournament in Russia. A man to watch in the home team will be Real Madrid ace Luka Modric, who has been struggling to find his best form in the first half of the season. Greece were having their ups and downs in the qualifiers, but thanks to back-to-back wins over the likes of Cyprus and Gibraltar they set up a meeting with Croatia in the play-offs. The visitors are likely to adopt a defence-minded approach in Thursday’s football match against Ivan Rakitic and Co, but we do not believe that they are capable of keeping a clean sheet in the first leg.
Highlighted Player (Modric):
Luka Modric is regarded as one of the best central midfielders in world football. The Croatian ace is a product of Dinamo Zagreb’s youth school and it has to be noted that he played 94 league games for the Modri between 2003 and 2008. In 2008 he signed a six-year deal with Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £16.5 million. Luka made his Tottenham debut on 16 August, 2008 in a 2-1 loss to Middlesbrough at Riverside Stadium. The Croatian star scored only 13 goals in 127 league appearances for the Spurs, but he is well known for his brilliant passing. In 2012 he signed for Real Madrid for a fee of £30 million and he made his debut against Barcelona in the 2012 Spanish Super Cup, return leg. Modric quickly established himself as a first-team regular and, no doubt, he helped the capital club win two Champions League trophies (2013/2014, 2015/2016). You should bear in mind that he was named Croatian Footballer of the Year in 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2014.
Highlighted Team (Greece):
Former European champions Greece played their first official match on April 7, 1929, with the team suffering a heavy 4-1 loss to Italy in Athens. The Greeks booked their place at the FIFA World Cup finals in 1994 for the first time ever, but they failed to impress at the showpiece tournament in United States of America. The Galanolefki were eliminated in the group stages of the 2010 FIFA World Cup as well, but they made it to the knockout stages of the tournament in Brazil four years later. However, the Greeks were more than unfortunate not to book their place in the quarter-finals as they were beaten by Costa Rica on penalties. However, Greece did remarkably well to win the 2004 European Championship and that is considered the national team’s biggest success. Otto Rehhagel outplayed the likes of France and Czech Republic in the knockout stages to set up a meeting with hosts Portugal in the title game. Thanks to Angelos Charisteas’ goal 12 minutes into the second half Greece won the European Championship.