Netherlands vs Croatia predictions ahead of this UEFA Nations League semi-final on Wednesday night. Can Croatia continue their World Cup form by shocking the hosts? Read on for our free betting tips and predictions.
Match Live Wednesday, 14th June at 7:45 pm In:
Netherlands vs Croatia Predictions
Nations League Semi-Final Showdown
– The Netherlands hold an impressive home record, with only one defeat in their nine UEFA Nations League home matches.
– Croatia managed an impressive comeback in the Nations League after an initial defeat, finishing with a five-game to get to the next part of the conversation.
As the 2022-23 UEFA Nations League reaches its climax, the Netherlands prepares to host Croatia in the semi-final stage, with both teams aiming for a spot in the grand final. The hosts, Oranje, blitzed their way through League A Group 4, amassing an unmatched 16 points out of 18. Conversely, the Chequered Ones triumphed over the incumbent champions, France, to top League A Group 1.
The Road to the Semifinals
The Dutch, under the helm of Ronald Koeman, have demonstrated remarkable form, winning a notable 16 points from a possible 18 against the likes of Belgium, Poland, and Wales. Their performance has been nothing short of exemplary, with a tally of 14 goals – the highest in the top tier. Their only stumble was a 2-2 home draw against Poland, but otherwise, they exhibited an untouchable run.
In contrast, Croatia took advantage of France’s unexpected downfall to secure their spot in the final stages, gathering 13 points from six games. Croatia, led by Zlatko Dalic, saw their squad recover from an initial 3-0 loss to Austria to finish with an impressive five-game unbeaten streak, demonstrating their resilience and tenacity on the world stage.
Assessing the Home and Away Record
When it comes to performances on home soil in the UEFA Nations League, the Netherlands have tasted defeat only once – a 1-0 loss to Italy back in September 2020. This impeccable record is poised to aid the Dutch team as they anticipate another showdown against either Italy or Spain in the tournament’s final round.
Conversely, Croatia have left an impressive mark on their away games in the group stage, ending their previous streak of five consecutive away defeats. Their recent victories away in Turkey, France, and Denmark have painted a picture of a team that thrives under pressure and isn’t easily swayed by the hostile environment of foreign stadiums.
In the lead up to the semi-final showdown, both teams face significant injury concerns. The Netherlands will be without Memphis Depay due to an unresolved calf problem. On the Croatian side, highly-rated RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol will miss out due to a groin injury. These injuries could potentially impact the strategies employed by both teams and may contribute to the unpredictability of the match’s outcome.
Andrej Kramaric: The Croatian Sharpshooter
Our main prediction leans towards Andrej Kramaric having over two shots on target. Examining his Nations League statistics, Kramaric has exhibited a notable scoring frequency and has averaged 1.2 shots per game.
What’s more compelling is Kramaric’s goal conversion rate of 14%, despite having an average of only 0.3 shots on target per game. However, considering his prominent role in the Croatian lineup and the pressure on him to perform due to key player injuries, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to predict Kramaric making more than two shots on target in the forthcoming clash. His excellent ball control and precision, reflected by an impressive 85% accuracy in his 17.7 touches per game, further solidify this prediction.
Given that Croatia is likely to rely on Kramaric as their main striker, following Marko Livaja’s departure from the squad, this increases the likelihood of Kramaric having more shots on target.
Expect An Entertaining Yet Balanced Affair
Both Netherlands and Croatia are known for their dynamic attacking prowess and their capability of breaking the deadlock in high-pressure situations. An intriguing possibility for this match could be a 2-2 draw in the correct score market, considering several factors from both teams.
The Netherlands have shown immense offensive power in the Nations League, boasting an average of 2.3 goals per game, backed by an average of 14.2 total shots per game. Meanwhile, Croatia, known for their resolute defence and tactical gameplay, have scored an average of 1.3 goals per game. Yet, they’ve also proved their capacity to turn the tables, as seen from their win against France and their sturdy performances against other top teams.
Analysing the teams’ defensive abilities further strengthens the draw prediction. The Netherlands have conceded an average of 1.0 goals per game while Croatia has the same rate of conceded goals. Both teams have demonstrated their capacity to hold the fort against challenging adversaries, which will make it difficult for either side to seize a decisive victory.
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