Croatia can fill the forecast behind Spain in Group C at Euro 2012

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Croatia were largely unfancied to progress from Group C before the start of Euro 2012, but there now looks some value in the 10/3 that they finish second behind Spain to progress to the knockout stages of the tournament.

Italy will be pleased with their point against the defending champions and will still be the choice of many punters to qualify alongside Spain from the group, despite Croatia winning their opener with the Republic of Ireland.

However, Croatia can count Italy among their more favoured opposition as they are unbeaten in all five meetings against them since the collapse of the former Yugoslavia.

Of these five, Croatia have won on three occasions and notably triumphs have been secured in each of the last two.

This includes their only encounter at a major finals, with Croatia running out 2-1 victors during the group stages of the 2002 World Cup.

Croatia were still left frustrated despite this success as Italy advanced to the knockout rounds at their expense, but a victory this time will guarantee them a place in the last eight.

Another key fact in Croatia’s favour is that they have never lost their second game at a major tournament.

In their six previous tournaments, Croatia have won their second fixture on four occasions, including at the last European Championships in 2008 when defeating the well-fancied Germany 2-1.

The aforementioned World Cup success over Italy was also their second game at that tournament.

It is 12/5 that Croatia beat Italy in the Euro 2012 odds, while 11/5 is the price that they claim a draw to get one foot into the quarter finals.

Alternatively, some punters may prefer to take the 11/8 on a Croatia victory in the draw no bet market, meaning that if it is a draw, win stakes on Croatia are refunded.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.