Serbia vs Croatia

Water Polo, European Championship for men in Spain, semifinals.

Serbia will face Croatia, without doubt these are two best sides on the tournament and who ever wins this game, is going to be favorite in the finals (Spain vs Italy is second SF).

Odds on Serbia around 1.90 are very tempting but I have other idea here. The same as in QF clash with Hungary, I think again that totals are the best option. Only this time it's over the totals, not under.

Serbia is best world team in recent years. As a matter fact until recently they were holding in the same time all possible trophies in their hands, European, World, Olympic and World League champions. But that finally was stopped on last WC when Serbia lost exactly from Croatia, 12:11 was back then. In the meantime these two sides met two more times, both times on the same new formed competition called Europa Cup and both times Croatia won again, once in group stage and once later in the finals. The results there were 9:7 and 8:7. But have in mind this new competition was held in Croatia. In any case, the Croats are now 3-0 in last three mutual meetings and surely they feel they could beat Serbian team again.

BTW, overall H2H from the time Serbia competes under current name is: 11-8 in favor of the Serbs and with one draw.

Compared with mentioned last meetings on the Europa Cup, Serbia has just one change in their squad. It's center Nemanja Vico instead of Nemanja Ubović. Vico proved to be good backup for Pjetlović.

On the other side, for Croatia this time is not available Sandro Sukno, their best player. Sukno is out since he is recovering from heart surgery he had in USA. Also center Ivan Krapić is not here. Instead of these two the new names are Miloš Lovre and experienced center Josip Vrlić. Vrlić BTW on last Olympics competed for Brazil but now is back for Croatia. So, in Water Polo is not like for example in footbal. Here it's possible to change the national teams.

When I took under in the Serbia vs Hungary game, I mentioned how Serbian defense is strong. And really we had chance to see that in QF. Final 8:5 secured easy profit on under although probably such score doesn't give the real picture what was going on in the water. Namely, Serbia was way more better than those only 3 goals. As a matter fact they opened with 5:0 and the first half score was 5:1 after Hungary has scored the first time just before half time. I got strong impression Serbia was fooling around a little bit in second half and didn't play anymore on 100%.

In any case, this Serbian defense is not going in favor of today's over bet but we should know Croatia is way stronger than Hungary at this point (Hungary has arrived here with many younger players).

IMO today's game will be with many power play possessions and I mean really many such situations on both sides. This means much more chance for scoring. Who followed the tournament and who in general watching Water Polo, knows that Serbia getting many power plays through their amazing center Pjetlović. This guy is unstoppable. I mean you can stop him but only on some illegal move and it's right away 30 seconds man advantage for Serbia. On the other side similar is with Croatian team. They are recognizable by their play in transition and by their great play through centers too. Thus, Croatia also getting many power play chances.

This will be one great game where on both sides of the pool would be very tough. But no way referees would allow this to turn into some fight. Be sure refs would call everything and that is going in the line with expected many power plays.

So, I really think that 16+ goals today is not too much to expect.

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Serbia vs Croatia prediction

Tip Bookmaker Odds * Stake Result
Over 15.5 Bet365 1.72 10 9-7 WON (+7.2 units)
* Odds as of post published time and are subject to change.
+5 -6
Comments (3)
aron50
Croatia lost finals in football and U20 baskett.I guess they will lose this one with Serbia as well.
07/26/2018 - 10:48
FairPlayBet
You are absolutely correct @aron50, as always I would say. Fact that Croatia lost Football World Cup finals recently as well U20 basketball European finals, has crucial impact on this Water Polo game. Silly me not to take those results on count when handicapping today's game.
07/26/2018 - 13:32
oxydant
Serbia WIN
07/26/2018 - 15:55
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