Live on BBC1: Thu 17.00: Croatia are Group C’s early pacesetters after their 3-1 victory over Ireland but they will inevitably find goals harder to come by as they come up against a well organised Italy side in Poznan. Indeed Cesare Prandelli’s men are favourites for the points at 11/8 with Stan James while Croatia are 13/5 courtesy of Coral to make it back-to-back wins and book their place in the last eight.
Skybet chalk 9/4 against the draw and that’s not without appeal given that both sides picked up positive results, Italy having drawn with Spain, in their respective openers while it’s 11/2 at William Hill for the contest to finish one-each.
Alternatively, 888Sport quote 4/1 for scores to be level at the end of each half, it’s just 8/15 at bet365 to be a low-scoring affair featuring fewer than three goals and an opening goal from Manchester City’s Italian striker is available via Stan James at 15/2.
However, it’s another Premier League front man that catches the eye ahead of the Stadion Miejski clash. Everton’s Nikica Jelavic, who enjoyed a tremendous campaign for his club, was on target as Croatia saw off Ireland and like Balotelli, he’s 15/2, this time with Coral, to score first; a better bet though could be Paddy Power’s 13/5 for Jelavic to notch at any time.
Nikica Jelavic to score at any time – 13/5 (Paddy Power)