Croatia vs Azerbaijan Match Info
Date: Thursday March 21 2019
Kick-off time: 7.45pm GMT
Venue: Maksimir Stadium, Zagreb
Referee: Georgi Kabakov (Bulgaria)
Croatia vs Azerbaijan Head-To-Head Record
2 previous matches
September 3 2015: Azerbaijan 0-0 Croatia
October 13 2014: Croatia 6-0 Azerbaijan
Croatia vs Azerbaijan Stats
- Croatia have won only two of their six matches since the World Cup Final
- Both teams have scored in nine of Croatia’s latest 11 games
- Azerbaijan have lost just one of their last seven matches
Croatia vs Azerbaijan Match Preview
Croatia have been distinctly hit and miss since reaching the World Cup Final but should open their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with a comfortable success against Azerbaijan.
Last summer’s runners-up in Russia have perhaps suffered something of a hangover from their superb exploits, not least when losing 6-0 away to Spain in the UEFA Nations League.
Zlatko Dalic’s side gained revenge with a 3-2 home win, but having been 12 minutes away from a place in the semi-finals of that competition they ended up relegated instead as England turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 Wembley triumph that sent them through at Croatia’s expense.
Dalic has a few injuries in defence to cope with here which leaves international experience in relatively short supply, but the usual suspects are there in midfield and attack with the likes of Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Mateo Kovacic, Ivan Perisic and Andrej Kramaric.
Azerbaijan, meanwhile, also had a disappointing end to the Nations League as they missed out on promotion from the basement with a closing 4-0 defeat away to Kosovo.
Last month, they appointed Slaven Bilic’s former assistant Nikola Jurcevic as their new manager and his first job is to try and thwart his own country, for whom he played 19 times and scored two goals as well as coached for six years from 2006-12.
Jurcevic will have valuable knowledge of several Croatia players, but his own squad is much lower in quality and it would be a major upset if he was to engineer anything other than a defeat for Azerbaijan.
MORE: Visit our Euro 2020 predictions page for the latest tips on the next round of matches. Also, if you are planning an acca bet, check out the latest selections on our Football Accumulator Tips page.
Croatia vs Azerbaijan Betting Tips
Croatia -2 on the handicap @ 21/20 with bet365
Croatia to win and under 3.5 goals in the match @ 4/5 with bet365