Italy vs Croatia Euro Cup 2012 Betting Picks + Odds
Every Euro match is a big one, but this one is HUGE, as Croatia can progress to the knockout phase with a win and Italy needs a win since they played to a draw in their first match.
Euro 2012 – Group C
Saturday June 14th – 12 PM
Match Odds: Italy 2.25 / Croatia 3.40 / Draw 3.20
Moneyline: Italy +125 / Croatia +240 / Draw +220
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
In their opening matches in the Euro Croatia beat Ireland 3-1 and Italy played to a 1-1 draw facing tournament favorite Spain. Croatia played well in the win over Ireland, but they did have some defensive lapses and that cannot happen against the Italians.
Croatian playmaker Luka Modric is the key player for his team and he has to play well in the MF and make plays both on offense and defense. He has to be active in the midfield and not let the Italians control the ball.
In their match against Spain Italy sat back on defense facing the great Spanish offense. The tables may be turned in this match, as Italy will be more aggressive, as they really need to take 3 points from this match. Because of this they will have to be wary since Croatia is solid on the counter attack.
Mario Mandzukic bagged 2 of Croatia’s 3 goals in the Ireland match and he must pressure the Italy defense, which played well against Spain. Croatia will likely not have as many scoring chances against Italy and it is more important that their defense, which is led by Darijo Srna and Ivan Strinic, and G Stipe Pletikosa play well to pull off the upset.
Daniele De Rossi was solid in the Spain match and with him in the MF and the Italians using a 3-man defensive backfield they will be very hard to score on.
Andrea Pirlo is also key in this match, as if he and De Rossi can help Italy dominate the time of possession they have a major advantage since they will come up with multiple scoring chances.
In the Spain match FW Mario Balotelli did not play very well and his temper got the better of him because Spain frustrated him all match long. Croatia has to take a page from Spain and do the same and on the other side of the coin Balotelli must be more aggressive and take it to the Croat defense.
Jason’s Pick: While Croatia did look very good in the win over Ireland Italy is, obviously, a much better team. There is a lot of pressure on the Italians in this match, but I think they will play well under that pressure and win this match.