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Friendly International: Hungary vs Croatia preview

Kick-off: Saturday, 26 March @17:00 GMT

Venue: Groupama Arena (Budapest)

Live Stream: fuboTV (US), bet365 (non-US)

Head to head record

Hungary vs Croatia 1-1 (2008 Friendly International)
Croatia vs Hungary 0-0 (2006 World Cup qualifiers)
Croatia vs Hungary 3-0 (2006 World Cup qualifiers)
Hungary vs Croatia 0-2 (2002 Friendly International)
Croatia vs Hungary 4-1 (1996 Friendly International)

Hungary vs Croatia prediction

Having recorded a routine 2-0 win over Israel on Wednesday evening, Croatia will be looking to extend their winning run to five games when they take on Hungary at Groupama Arena in Budapest on Saturday afternoon.

First warm-up game

It has been 44 years since Hungary last participate at the European Championship finals. The Nemzeti Tizenegy did remarkably well to qualify for Euro 2021 finals in France and they kick off their preparations for the tournament with a match against Croatia. Bernd Storck’s team outplayed Norway in the Euro 2021 play-offs and they will be looking to build on the back-to-back wins over the Nordic side when they square off against Ante Cacic’s troops on Saturday. Hungary are a real force to be reckoned with at home and it has to be noted that the team are on a five-game unbeaten run at home ground ahead of the visit of Croatia. Bursaspor winger Balazs Dzsudzsak is undisputedly the team’s key player and he is likely to play an important role in Bernd Stock’s team at the Euro 2021 finals, where they will face the likes of Portugal, Austria and Iceland in Group F.

Youngster Bernabas Bese has received his first ever call-up and he could make his Hungary debut against Croatia. Gergo Lovrensics was forced to withdraw from the squad through illness. Former Watford striker Tamas Priskin is pushing for a start, whilst Tamas Kadar is unlikely to be risked as he has been struggling with an ankle injury.

Routine win over Israel

As expected, Croatia recorded a routine 2-0 win over Israel in their second warm-up game for the Euro 2021 finals. The Vatreni extended their winning run to four games in all competitions, but they do not want to stop now. Ante Cacic’s men aim to keep on making progress in days to come as they have big ambitions for the showpiece tournament in France. The Croatian boss has a number of top-class players and seeing that he will count on the likes of Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic for the Hungary game, it is no surprise the former Yugoslavian republic are regarded as favourites to win the Groupama Arena clash. Ivan Rakitic was rested against Israel, but the Barcelona ace should return to the starting line-up and he is certainly capable of posing a big threat for the opposition back line.

Milan Badelj and Nikola Kalinic are both likely to miss the match through illness, while Josip Pivaric and Marko Pjaca remain in the recovery room through injury. Coach Ante Cacic has no other fresh injury worries ahead of the trip to Budapest.

Quick Facts

  • Under 2.5 goals were scored in three of last four meetings between the two teams
  • Hungary scored only one goal in last three encounters against Croatia
  • Croats are eyeing their fifth consecutive win in all competitions
  • Ante Cacic’s team scored 2+ goals in three of their last four games
  • Hungary are on a five-match unbeaten run on home soil

Hungary vs Croatia betting tip

Both Hungary and Croatia will participate at the Euro 2021 finals and no doubt both sides want to prepare in the best possible way for the showpiece tournament in France. Croatia proved their worth in the 2-0 win over Israel and seeing that coach Ante Cacic can count on all of his key players for the Hungary game, I am tempted to put my money on the Vatreni this time out.

Tip: Croatia to win

Odds: 2.00 (1/1) @Betfair

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