Euro qualifiers value acca predictions: Croatia under pressure to deliver
Seven group games will be played on Saturday as Euro 2024 qualifying winds up to a conclusion, with several teams on the verge of sealing their places in Germany next summer.
The pressure is on Croatia after the World Cup Bronze Medallists slipped up against Turkey in Wales last month to drop into third place in Group D.
Zlatko Dalic's team must better Wales' points total from the remaining games against Latvia and Armenia this week in order to seal qualification for Euro 2024.
But the coach's plans have been hampered by injuries to key men Mateo Kovacic, Josip Juranovic, Nikola Vlasic, Bruno Petkovic and Ivan Perisic.
And he has been so dissatisfied with the play of left-backs Borna Sosa and Borna Barisisc that he has already declared Josko Gvardiol will play there for the double-header.
Gvardiol's recent club form has been a bit iffy and moving him out of central defence could disrupt a team decimated by injuries to the point where even more begins to go wrong.
Goals might be scarce at Skonto Stadium with five of Croatia's last eight matches having seen fewer than three goals scored as well as Latvia's last two home games.
It is also worth noting that the game is being played on Latvia's Independence Day with the Wolves unbeaten in their last eight games played in the month of November.
France have already been confirmed as group winners with two games left to play, while Gibraltar are yet to achieve a single point in the section.
Didier Deschamps is still expected to name his best available side and will demand a show of strength against the minnows at the Allianz Riviera in Nice.
Phenomenally talented midfielder Warren Zaire-Emery is set to make his debut in place of the injured Aurelien Tchouameni and the PSG player, who has notched in two of his last four club appearances, should get some opportunities to score.
Gibraltar have so far failed to score a goal in qualifying and have conceded at least three goals each time they have played.
Israel have already played twice this month, losing 1-0 to Kosovo on Sunday before Shonn Weissmann's late leveller rescued a point against Switzerland at Pancho Arena on Wednesday.
This game will also be played at the same Hungarian venue with Romania looking to extend a nine-game unbeaten sequence that includes five solid efforts on the road.
Edward Iordanescu's men know a point will be enough to see them through to the finals and, having drawn each of their last three away games, they appear to be adept at achieving that particular result.
The two nations played out a 1-1 stalemate in Bucharest earlier in the group and shared four goals in a 2-2 friendly draw last year, so it would be no surprise to see this finish all square.
The Swiss were pegged back late on in an error-strewn 1-1 draw against Israel last time out and also had right-back Edmilson Fernandes sent off in stoppage time.
Murat Yakin's men have been sloppy in two of their last three home qualifiers too and cannot be trusted to take all three points against a Kosovan side that have won back-to-back games.
Both teams to score looks the better play as these two sides also shared four goals when they met in Pristina earlier this year.
Only one of Switzerland's last six internationals has not seen both teams find the back of the net and that was when Andorra were shut out in Sion back in September.
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