14 October 2019
Wales and Croatia will look horns in the 2020 UEFA European Championship qualifying this weekend at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Wales’ hopes of qualification took a major blow after they let a 1-0 lead slip through their fingers against Slovakia during their midweek qualifier (1-1). The Dragons now sit three points adrift of second-placed Slovakia but have a game in hand on the Falcons. Although Ryan Giggs’ men kicked off their qualifying campaign with a 1-0 over Slovakia precisely, they’ve failed to live up to expectations since, securing just one win in the subsequent four qualifying matches (W1, D1, L2). Three consecutive defeats in competitive H2Hs with Croatia certainly trouble Giggs ahead of this fixture, although he can rely on his team’s good run of form on home soil. Wales have racked up a four-game winning home streak in the build-up to this meeting, beating their rivals by the identical 1-0 scoreline three times during the run.
Meanwhile, the visitors sit top of Group E with a record of four wins, a draw, and a loss. The only defeat the Blazers have suffered this qualifying campaign has come away from home (2-1 to Hungary), which is also the only qualifying match that has seen them concede over 1.5 goals. Impressively, all four of Croatia’s wins in Group E have seen them score two or more goals, with Zlatko Dalic’s men leading at the break three times in the process. But, the 2018 FIFA World Cup runners-up have struggled to impress when away from home since coming back from Russia. They have lost three of five competitive trips after exiting the World Cup (W1, D1, L3), conceding a total of 11 goals across those fixtures.
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