22 March 2019
Rocked by a frustrating UEFA Nations League campaign, Croatia will host Azerbaijan to the Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb, looking to return to winning ways.
The hosts go into this meeting off the back of a 2-1 loss to England that has seen them finish bottom of UEFA Nations League Group A/4 with a record of one win, one draw, and two defeats. What’s more, the 2018 FIFA World Cup runners-up have secured just two triumphs in six outings after returning from Russia (W2, D2, L2). In that period, the Blazers have managed only one clean slate, allowing over 1.5 goals per match three times in the process. Another potential problem for the Chequered Ones could be that they’ve scored one goal or less in four post-World Cup games, failing to find the net in the first half on four occasions along the way.
On the other hand, the visitors are considerable underdogs in this clash although they’ve lost just one of their last seven games (W3, D3, L1). However, that one loss has come in the build-up to this meeting, with Kosovo sweeping Azerbaijan aside with a stunning 4-0 home triumph. It was the first time after six successive games Milli have allowed over 1.5 goals per match. With their attention mainly focused on defense, Nikola Jurčević’s men have kept three clean sheets in their last seven competitive encounters, restricting their rivals to a maximum of one goal per match on another three occasions. Unexpectedly, four of Azerbaijan’s previous five road games have produced over 2.5 goals although just two have seen goals on both ends.
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