My Bet of the Day was a winner yesterday at 2.37 on the Nations League. Here is what I’m going for today:
Have a read of my research below and see what you think. If you’re joining me, just remember to keep stakes sensible.
Croatia v France – Over 1.5 Goals
The first part of my Bet of the Day is two or more goals in Croatia v France.
Both sides had a bad start to the campaign with opening day defeats – Croatia losing 3-0 vs Austria, France losing 2-1 against Denmark.
Anything less than a win for either France or Croatia will seriously damage their hopes of topping the group.
Ivan Perisic is a doubt for Croatia, as is Marcelo Brozovic who will not be able to play in all four matches this month.
France lost Varane and Mbappe on Friday night but that should make way for Kimpembe and Nkunku, the former scored 20 goals in the Bundesliga this season for RB Leipzig.
Over 1.5 goals were scored in 100% of France’s World Cup qualifiers, but only 50% of Croatia’s. There is context to that though, in the second half of qualification, the match goals average was significantly higher for Croatia – 1.2 goals per game in the first half, 3.8 goals per game in the second half.
In the last calendar year, Croatia have scored on average 1.80 xG and conceded 1.13 xG. They recorded 2.00 xG vs Spain at EURO 2020, 2.45 at home vs Slovakia during qualification and 1.23 vs Austria on Friday, despite losing 3-0.
During the same period, France have scored on average 2.06 xG and conceded 0.72 xG. Even against Denmark on Friday, their xG of 2.20 suggests they created more than enough chances to score at least one more goal.
Looking at France’s defensive record against strong opposition, they failed to keep a clean sheet twice vs Ukraine in qualification and they only kept one clean sheet from four matches at Euro 2020 – 1-1 vs Hungary, 2-2 vs Portugal and 3-3 vs Switzerland.
It’s difficult to know how serious these nations are taking the competition but a win is vital for both sides if they have any aspirations to win the group. In combination with the goalscoring and chances created records of both sides, this match should have at least two goals.
Latvia vs Liechtenstein – Latvia -1 Handicap
The second part is for Latvia to win by two or more goals at home to Liechtenstein.
Latvia are top of League D – Group 2 after a comfortable 3-0 win at home to Andorra, Liechtenstein lost their opener 2-0 at home to Moldova, the result giving the away side their first competitive win since June 2019.
There are levels when it comes to the minnows and Latvia are certainly a level or two above Liechtenstein.
In the World Cup qualfiiers, Latvia collected nine points from 10 matches with a pair of 3-1 wins against Gibraltar and draws against Montenegro, Norway and Turkey.
In comparison, Liechtenstein picked up just one point from 10 matches – a 1-1 draw away to Armenia which the home side dominated and should’ve comfortably won (2.38 to 0.91 on xG).
Latvia go into this game five matches unbeaten with three wins and two draws in all competitions and including friendlies. Liechtenstein have lost their last seven with 18 goals conceded including a 9-0 defeat away to Germany and a 6-0 defeat at home to Cabo Verde (can anyone name me a Cabo Verde player?!)
I’m not able to get xG data for the Cabo Verde match but in their recent defeats vs Moldova, Faroe Islands, Romania, Iceland and North Macedonia, the average xG for is 0.13, the average xG conceded is 3.45.
Latvia aren’t on the same level as Romania, Iceland and North Macedonia but they are as good, if not better, than Moldova and Faroe Islands.
Remember, the Nations League can provide a backdoor entry to EURO 2024 for a minnow, so Latvia need to win games like tonight if they want any chance of qualifying. They will win and I expect them to grab at least two goals without reply in the process.
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