At the start of the European Championship qualifier in Group E, Vice World Champion Kroatien and outsider Azerbaijan meet on Thursday night. The game will be held in the Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb will be headed by Georgi Kabakov from Bulgaria. After the World Cup in Russia in the previous year, the Croats have been difficult to build on the successful tournament and have a balanced record after the tournament: 2 wins, 2 defeats, 2 draws with a goal difference of 7:12. Among other things, the Croats in the UEFA Champions League in Spain with 0:6 under the wheels and dropped out of the Nations League League A from.
The rivals from Azerbaijan graduated in 2018 a true mammoth program of games. Twelve appearances on the pitch, with Qurban Qurbanov's team scoring four wins, five draws and three times defeat. Although the balance looks good at first glance, it should be noted that the opponents were Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Malta, North Macedonia and the Faroe Islands, and by no means had the level of Croatian opponents in the Nations League on the top teams Spain and England.
Both sides met until now only in the European Championship qualifier 2014/2015 on each other. At home, the outsider from the Caspian Sea could still fight for a 0-0 draw, but in Croatia, they sang and soundless with 0:6. By the way, the coaching duel was called Niko Kovac against Berti Vogts. Current national coach Zlatko Dalić will miss Marko Pjaca in the opening round, having nominated Bruno Petkovic of Dinamo Zagreb. Qurban Qurbanov, on the other hand, has no losses to report.
The Croats are after the descent from the UEFA League A league certainly seeking to make amends and will do everything to present themselves again in top form and a Vice World Champion worthy. Anything but a runaway victory with more than 2 goals advantage would be a big surprise.
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