Match date: 06 Oct 2017
| Sport: Football
| Competition: International Football
| Stake: 8/10
| Pick: 1 (-2 AH)
| Match result:
1-1 - Lost
In group I battle for leading position isn't over yet and four teams are now in that race, Croatia are currently at the top with same number of points as second placed Iceland while third Turkey and 4th Ukraine are only two points behind. Croatia will face with Finland in 9th round and they have imperative to win this duel, in first meeting celebrated away from home with narrow result and that would satisfy them now. Hosts are coming to this match after were defeated by Turkey with narrow result, earlier defeated Kosovo while on their trip to Iceland in June were defeated.
Croatia can't afford anymore failures, they need two victories in last two rounds, here have perfect chance to achieve victory, however they must show some improving of their form, still there is no doubts that are stronger side for this duel and should be able to achieve routine victory, they are huge favorites by the bookies, despite in last games weren't so impressive i'm pretty sure that will manage to achieve routine victory here in front of their fans.
Croatia have strong team, on last Euro in France they won their progress through group stage with seven points out of three games but there were eliminated by Portugal after conceding a goal in 117th minute, anyway it was expected that they will qualify for Russia much easier in this group, however after failures in duels with Iceland and Turkey now can be in trouble, anyway for this duel against Finland are huge favorites and i'm convinced that will win.
Finland were outsiders in this group from start and after 8 games managed to collect only seven points, now are without chances to qualify for World Cup and on this trip without competitive motive it will be extremely difficult to avoid defeat against team which must win this game at all costs. Finland had a bit of luck in first game to concede only one goal and tonight i simple doubt that will manage to avoid conceding few goals.
Finland aren't some great team, they managed to defeat Kosovo in last round with narrow result while earlier defeated Iceland, however Croatia seems to strong for them and it will be really hard to break great defense of hosts which conceded only three goals in 8 rounds. Guests never reached some major tournament in their history and now will miss World Cup in Russia, they can only try to avoid some very convincing defeat against main candidates for first spot in this group.
Visitors conceded ten goals so far in 8 games and i'd be surprised if managed to avoid conceding couple more, despite opponents maybe aren't in some great form there is difference in quality of these two sides and it seems almost impossible for guests to avoid defeat now.
Croatia must win, they have no other option and here shouldn't have much troubles to do that against not so great Finland which can't win anything in these qualifications, everything except routine victory of hosts would be a surprise in this game.