Soccer players are often heroes in their home countries, just one step below gods. That is especially true in Ireland and Croatia, where Robbie Keane and Luka Modric reign supreme and might as well have their own comic books written about them. On Sunday, one will cry and a national will cry with them. Or not, but it makes for a good movie. You know, in case they are mega big heroes.
Lines: Croatia, -1/2 (+125). Ireland, +1/2 (-145).
Odds: Croatia, +125. Ireland, +235. Draw, +210.
Over/Under: Over 2, +105. Under 2, -125.
This one is tricky because Croatia paying out +125 is very tempting. They have the more accomplished and deeper team, especially in the attack. The problem is that they could get caught trying too hard to cover for their slow defense and dropping so deep that they can't get out and attack with the speed that they would like to. If they can't do that then this one becomes slow, uninteresting and probably a draw. With the draw paying out at +210, it's a good pick, but keep in mind, Ireland are awful. Don't justify more than that and go Croatia.
The under also checks in as a good pick. Croatia has openly admitted that they will have to be defensive to cover their back line and that their attacks will come on the counterattack. Meanwhile, Ireland make no bones about being defensive and their seven goals allowed in 10 qualifying matches proves they're good at it too. This one is destined to be slow and without many goals. If there is a winner it will likely be 1-0.