Euro 2008 Quarterfinal Betting Preview
Croatia vs. Turkey
Friday, 2:45 pm Eastern – ESPN
The two darkhorses in the Soccer Betting Euro 2008 quarterfinals will battle on Friday as Croatia faces Turkey. Croatia was one of only three teams that came through the group stage with a perfect 3-0 record. “We are the better team," said coach Slaven Bilic. Croatia will have some lineup changes as Ivan Rakitic and Dario Srna are ready to go for Friday but defender Dario Knezevic and striker Igor Budan are out. "I do not have sleepless nights over them. I have plenty of options and have a good choice." Bilic said. "We will do everything to beat Turkey. We have the strength and the quality to do it," Billic added.
Croatia is -.5 (-120) with a total of 2 over (-140) at SBG Global.
Three-way line – Croatia -120, Turkey +335, Draw +235
The last time Croatia reached the quarterfinals of a major tournament was in the 1998 World Cup when they beat Germany and ended up finishing third.
They seem very confident for Friday’s matchup against Turkey. "The euphoria amongst fans and players is huge, but we have to concentrate on the game against Turkey," said Mladen Petric.
Turkey has some definite problems heading into Friday’s game. They will be without suspended goalkeeper Volkan Demirel and Mehmet Aurelio. Demirel was suspended for two matches after getting a red card in injury time of Turkey’s win against the Czechs. Aurelio got his second card in that game as well and will miss Friday’s game. Turkey will also be without defender Emre Gungor who has a calf injury. Other key players like captain Emre Belozoglu, Tumer Metin and Servet Cetin are doubtful. Former number one goalkeeper Rustu Recber will be in goal and he will have to play very well if Turkey is to have a chance. "Our biggest advantage is that we never give up." said coach Fatih Terim.
The two teams have met three times in history with Croatia winning one while the other two ended in draws. Croatia beat Turkey in 1996 by a score of 1-0 while the teams played to a 1-1 draw in 1997 and a 2-2 draw in 2004.
Pick: Croatia to win