The second semifinals match on EHF EURO is all done. We now know both finalists, Croatia and Spain. Interestingly enough, these two sides squared off just a few days ago in the final round of the second group phase. In a match that wasn’t crucial for teams’ playoffs qualifications, only the seeding, both teams played to a lethargic 22-22 draw. That said, if you’re interested in Croatia vs. Spain betting predictions, here’s lesson number one – go watch that match and you’ll know a lot more about the action we’ll see on Sunday.
In addition to the grand finals match between Croatia and Spain, there are also not one but two additional matches. Germany plays against Portugal for the fifth, and Slovenia goes up against Norway for the third place. Both of these matches are scheduled for Saturday while the big grand finals match is scheduled for Sunday.
Needless to say, we’re at the peak of the handball betting season. If you miss out on the opportunity to get a few handball bets in before these three matches are over, you’ll have to wait till the Tokyo Olympic Games to get another taste of handball betting!
What a Match for Croatia…
Phew… what a match that was. If you haven’t seen Croatia vs. Norway, the semifinals Stockholm-based clash, just go and watch it. Watch the highlights, at the very least. It was a double-overtime match that’s definitely going down in history books. Both teams gave their best, and there was honestly a ton of luck involved on both ends. In the end, Croatia just seemed to want the win a bit more than their Scandinavian brethren…
If you’re looking for Croatia vs. Spain betting predictions, it probably means you know a thing or two about handball. If that’s true, you probably know Croatia is considered a force to be reckoned with in the world of international handball. However, in recent years, the Croatian national team went through a difficult generation change. In fact, this is going to be their first grand finals in ten years.
Driven by mad desire to win the only gold medal they’re missing, this Croatian team already has their eyes set on the trophy… and no worries, our Croatia vs. Spain betting predictions will definitely take into account Croatia’s gold drought!
For starters, let’s say a thing or two about Croatia’s crucial players. As always, the first name on the team sheet is the 31-year-old handball legend, Domagoj Duvnjak. What Ivano Balic was in his golden days, Domagoj Duvnjak is, and has been, ever since the legendary Croatian playmaker retired from the national selection.
Duvnjak is arguably the most complete player in the world. He can defend, he’s physically imposing, has great game IQ, can intercept balls at will, can pass the ball like the best of them, and can score from virtually anywhere. Alongside all that, he also took over the penalty-taking role from Horvat, since Croatia was by far the worst team on the event in that department.
Moving on, Luka Cindric was a promising figure coming into this event, but his overall performance wasn’t on point. True, he’s been limping with an injury that could be the culprit behind his poor performances. At times, Croatia’s attack definitely shows the lack of Cindric’s ability to make a dribble and get past a firm defense.
Sego, Croatia’s first goalkeeper, has been going on and off from the start of the event. He’s known for nailing together more than a few saves, but then going completely invisible for the rest of the match. On the bright side, Asanin, Sego’s substitute, proved his qualities between the goalposts, especially against Norway. In the dying embers of the match, mind you.
Lino Cervar, Croatia’s manager, is one of the most decorated managers in the history of the sport. This medal is going to be his tenth, and the players already announced they’re going to dedicate it to Lino, a true legend of Croatian handball.
He’s known for his steady, witty, yet well-organized and dynamic gameplay that the Croatian national team is well-known for. Additionally, he’s also a big devotee of the notorious seven-on-six game plan with no goalkeeper, even though he’s often heavily criticized for such a risky approach.
5-1 is Cervar’s go-to defensive line, featuring Domagoj Duvnjak as the sole disruptor. Arguably the best player in the world, the 31-year-old Duvnjak is extremely dangerous, not just because of his ability to intercept the ball, but because of his passing vision and the ability to score from virtually anywhere.
On the other end of the field, Croatia has been using a mix and mash of approaches. Against Norway, they portrayed some of their best central/pivot attacks on the tournament. Alongside that, there’s been a bunch of distance shots as well as a few goals down the wings. However, they are known for having difficulties with firm, patient, highly disciplined defensive lines, something the Spanish national team definitely possesses.
Spain Looks Unbeatable
Ribera has done an amazing job with this Spain team. His work hasn’t been that demanding either, since he’s in charge of a fine array of talents, featuring an impressive mixture of experience and fresh, young blood, ready to make an appearance.
Thus far in 2020, Spain has won ten out of eleven matches. Mind you, the eleventh match isn’t a loss, but a tightly contested draw against Croatia in the group stage. Yep, the same Croatia that they’re going up against on Sunday.
There are more than a few players that belong to this category, and if you’re interested in Croatia vs. Spain betting predictions, you should know about them. Let’s start off with Spain’s best goal-scorer on this event. Nope, it’s not Entrerrios, Dujsheabaev or Aguinagalde. It’s Ferran Sole who scored 36 goals in 47 attempts, which translates to 77% shot accuracy.
Alongside Sole, we also have to mention Dujshebaev with 26, and Entrerrios with 27 goals. Aguinagalde, Balaguer and Figueras have been solid too, especially Figueras who’s on unbelievable 95% with 20 scored goals.
Spain is one of the most decorated handball teams in the world, having a total of thirteen titles. Three gold, four silver, and six bronze medals. Just like Croatia, they won two out of three possible gold medals. Instead of EURO, Spain is yet to win the Olympic Games.
As for the tactical approach, Spain is not one of those countries that likes to defend. Usually, they let their attack do the talking, and with the likes of Entrerrios, Dujshebaev and Sole up front, it’s really illogical to do things differently.
However, we’ve seen a more defensive version of Spain in the second group stage match against Croatia. There were just 44 goals on that match, by far the fewest in Spain’s recent record. That said, Spain isn’t really fond of Croatia’s playstyle, meaning they could be forced to do extra defensive work once again. If anything, this info ought to come in handy for our Croatia vs. Spain betting predictions.
Croatia vs. Spain Betting Predictions
Here comes the final part of this piece that possesses the actual Croatia vs. Spain betting predictions. No worries – we got two awesome options for you, both of which yield great value. But first, let’s take a closer look at Croatia’s extra motivators ahead of the Sunday clash against Spain!
Can Croatia Get the Final Gold for Their Collection?
There are three titles you can win on the international handball level. We’re talking about World Championship, the Olympics, and the EURO. Thus far, Croatia has two Olympic gold medals and one World Championship, but haven’t won a single EURO yet. It wasn’t for a lack of trying – Croatia played in two EURO finals, losing to France and Denmark. This will be their third attempt at winning the missing medal… and it’s against Spain, the team the Croatians have played the most against.
It’s safe to say the golden days of Croatia are long gone. The generation that took the World Championship title in 2003 and Olympics title in 2004 is rightly considered as the golden generation. However, the likes of Duvnjak, Stepancic, and Karacic look ready to snatch the flattering title. If they win the EHF EURO and make a good impression in Tokyo, they might even succeed…
As for Croatia vs. Spain betting predictions, it’s about time to wrap things up!
Looking at the EHF EURO in general, Spain has been the best team from start to finish. As mentioned above, Ribera’s men are looking outright unbeatable, enjoying an excellent run of form and are rightly considered as the favorites coming into the grand finals match.
However, the last time Spain beat Croatia on a proper international competition was during the 2016 EHF EURO. Since then, Croatia has won three matches with their last head to head match (played a few days ago) ending in a 22-22 draw.
Some folks are saying the Croatians don’t stand a chance just because of the two extra overtimes they had to go through against Norway. However, the same story was active during Croatia’s soccer World Cup campaign, and we all know Croatians beat both Russia and England after dealing with physically and psychically demanding overtimes.
Plus, we can’t forget about Duvnjak, one of the world’s greatest players. He’s been a true warrior for the Croatian side, and with 31 years on the record, he’s not exactly getting any younger. Perhaps he’s past his peak, having won the IHF World Player 2013, but Domagoj is still the man to turn to when Croatia gets in trouble.
Not to mention the fact Croatia is the only country that Spain wasn’t able to beat on this event. And we’re talking about Croatia that wasn’t even giving its 100%. Sure, the same can be said for Spain too, but a draw is still a draw.
All these reasons, combined with a juicy +180 on Croatia, make me a proud Croat fan (and enthusiastic bettor) ahead of the Spain clash on Sunday. Knowing both teams’ abilities and tactical approaches, we’re not going to see a goal-fest. It’s going to be a tightly contested, goal for goal match, with plenty of GK saves and tough defensive work on both ends.
So, if you came here for some concrete Croatia vs. Spain betting predictions, here they are:
Croatia vs. Spain Betting
- Croatia to Win+180
- Total Goals Under 47.5+400