Croatia vs Albania Preview: The Dire Need For Win For Both Teams After Losing Their First Group Stage Matches

Dumitru Palanchuk
Dumitru Palanchuk
17 June 2024, 15:28

Croatia vs Albania

The upcoming UEFA Euro 2024 group stage match between Croatia and Albania is set to take place at the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg. This encounter is crucial for both teams as they seek to bounce back from their respective opening game defeats. Croatia suffered a heavy 3-0 loss to Spain, while Albania narrowly lost 2-1 to Italy. Before getting to the Croatia vs Albania prediction, it should be considered that both teams will be eager to secure their first points of the tournament to keep their hopes of advancing to the knockout stages alive. This match will be the first official match between the two and given its utmost importance, fans can expect the best from their national teams. 

Croatia Team News

Croatia enters this match after a disappointing 3-0 defeat to Spain. Despite the loss, the Croatian squad, managed by Zlatko Dalić, showed glimpses of their attacking potential, particularly in the first half. Despite the defensive inconsistency that was easily exposed by Spaniards, Croatians had their chances, including the penalty, all of which however was missed or stopped by brilliant Unai Simón. In the upcoming match, the trio of Joško Gvardiol, Marin Pongračić and Josip Šutalo will aim to tighten up a backline that conceded three goals in their opener. Most importantly, Dalić will have hope that Luka Modrić and Marcelo Brozović will show the best game, as both players were quite disappointing in the match against Furia Roja.

Albania Team News

Albania, managed by Sylvinho, also faces a must-win situation after their 2-1 defeat to Italy. Despite the loss, Albania showed resilience and even managed to score the fastest goal in Euro history through Nedim Bajrami. Bajrami, along with other key players like Rey Manaj and Kristjan Asllani, will be crucial in Albania's quest to secure three points. Even though Croatia vs Albania odds manifest the nominal hosts as the favourite, it will not be that easy for Vatreno to get three points. While Croatia's efforts in the opening game looked quite hopeless, despite several chances they had, Albania showed quite a versatile display against the reigning Euro champions. Giving up the possession and using sharp counterattacks proved to be worthy tactics and were it not for Gianluigi Donnarumma, the Red Blacks had all the chances to save one point in the very end of the match. 

Croatia vs Albania Prediction

Albania Handicap +1.5

Albanians surprised many by their decent game against Italy which bolstered their fans’ hops amid the upcoming match against Croatia. The Vatreno, on the other hand, were disappointing, and while this may be attributed to the attacking excellence of the Spanish team, the problems in the Croatian midfield and defensive lines became evident. Albania, through its sharp counterattacking play will have its chances while holding Andrej Kramarić and Ante Budimir seems to be easier than stopping Federico Chiesa and Gianluca Scamacca. This Croatia vs Albania tip comes at 1.53 at MrPlay

Total Goals Over 2.5

Both teams understand the importance of the three points in the upcoming match, as they will face the leaders of the group in the last group stage day - Albania will play against Spain, while Croatia will face Italy. In these circumstances, withstanding the opponent’s pressure in hopes of getting one point amid the game with a leader proves to be not the best idea. Croatia, as promised by Modrić will show its best attacking display, while Sylvinho made a point that the Red and Blacks are ready for their second win in the framework of EURO, with first one dating back to EURO 2016. These statements highlight the probability of attacking football with a lot of goals scored, an option that comes at 2.02 at MrPlay.

Goal in First 30 Minutes - Yes

There are several factors contributing to the probability of the goal in the first half an hour. First of all, the first group stage game saw three goals scored in the first 16 minutes in the Albanians’ match, while Álvaro Morata hit the Croatians net in 29th minute. Secondly, as teams inclined to show their attacking display and secure three points, both will try to get an advantage as early as possible. At least Albanians, who have scored the fastest goal in the history of the tournament know precisely what to do. This outcome can be picked up at MrPlay at 1.77.

Remember to gamble responsibly. Tips provided serve only as a recommendation, not as a call to action. Always rely on your own judgement.