7 September 2019
Croatia head to the City Arena Trnava to take on Slovakia for the UEFA European Championship (ECQ) qualification fixture. Both nations have had identical returns from their opening three ECQ matches (W2, L1), but the hosts are currently occupying the second spot in Group E due to a better goal difference.
After a 2-0 home win over Hungary in the ECQ opener, the hosts have struggled to maintain momentum, losing 1-0 to Wales on the road. However, they secured a stunning 5-1 away triumph over Azerbaijan last time out, which was their third win in their previous seven competitive matches (W3, L4). All four of Slovakia’s defeats in that period have seen them go down by a narrow one-goal margin, with three of those games ending with the same 1-0 scoreline against their favor. Nonetheless, the Falcons have won six of their last seven competitive home games (W6, L1), five of which have been accompanied by a clean sheet.
Meanwhile, all three of Croatia’s ECQ matches so far have ended with the same 2-1 scoreline (W2, L1), with both of their wins coming at home. An away loss to Hungary was their third in as many competitive road trips since returning from Russia (L3) even though the 2018 FIFA World Cup runners-up scored the opener twice across those matches. Zlatko Dalic’s men have been struggling for a clean sheet in the post-World Cup period having preserved a blank slate only once in ten outings in that sequence, friendlies included. However, the Blazers are yet to lose to Slovakia (W2, D2), with both of their previous visits here ending with the same 1-1 scoreline.
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