Rijeka vs Istra 1961 by Dwofl

Pick based on Asian handicap. Not familiar with handicaps? Read our Asian handicap betting guide
Another home game for 1st time Croatian champions HNK Rijeka as they take on Istra 1961 in the "Neighboring derby".


Champions league 3rd round qualifications saw HNK Rijeka travel to Red Bull Salzburg in what promised to be a thrilling encounter, however we saw a Jekyll and Hyde performance from the Croatian champions as they took the first half by storm only to resort to Jose Mourinho football in the second half perfectly happy with the away goal and optimistic going into the second leg at Rujevica stadium.


The newly built Rujevica has become a fortress of football for both club and fans. The atmosphere is accompanied by outstanding results carried over from last season's unbeaten streak as HNK Rijeka boast a home record of 18-1-0 (the draw against Dinamo Zagreb) and a goal difference of 43-9 since September 2016. Due to a second leg CL qualifier against Red Bull Salzburg scheduled for next week we might see some key players (Ristovski, Vešović, Kvržić, Gavranović...) being rested, however they will most likely be taken off in the second half after coach Kek feels the result is secured. HNK Rijeka started the season off with two home victories against NK Rudeš (4:1) and Slaven Belupo (2:0). Another stat to point out is that HNK Rijeka have won their last 10 home games with a 2+ goal margin.


Istra 1961 is an established 1st division team often hugging mid-table positions. A traditionally slow start for the club as they struggled to a 1:1 home draw in their last outing against a rotated NK Osijek team, and failed to score in their 2:0 visit to Dinamo Zagreb. Their away score against HNK Rijeka isn't one to be proud of as they are yet to grab the full 3 away points from Rijeka, netting only once in their last 6 games while conceding 10 goals in the process.


While sometimes struggling in away games at "Aldo Drosina" stadium, HNK Rijeka boast a perfect home record against Istra 1961 and there is no reason to expect anything less than a home win. The dominance shown by HNK Rijeka in front of their home fans is second to none, and I expect another high pressure game with a lot of chances created by the home team.


NK Rijeka home games:


12 shots, 6 on target, 4 goals, 1 conceded 52% posession (against NK Rudeš)


8 shots, 2 on target, 2 goals, 52% possession (against Slaven Belupo)


Istra 1961 away game:


8 shots, 6 on target, 0 goals, 51% posession (against Dinamo Zagreb)


HNK Rijeka have won their last 8 home league games with a 2+ goal margin conceding just 1 goal and I am confident the win streak will continue with today's game.


That said, I am going with a HNK Rijeka -1.5AH bet for this one. Good luck!


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Pick Bookmaker Odds * Stake Result
-1.5 AH Bet365 1.57 8 2-0 WON (+4.56 units)
* Odds as of post published time and are subject to change.
+15 -1
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