After comfortably beating Azerbaijan 2-0 in their opening match of U21 Euro Qualifiers last week, the Mladi Vatreni face Finland Tuesday evening with the hope of becoming Group A’s 1st place team. Croatia is currently tied with Norway and Finland at the top of the table, all with three points. Salzburg duo Luka Sučić and Roko Šimić led the squad to victory over Azerbaijan in their previous match, both scoring goals in the first half. Šibenik’s Antonio Marin and Lokomotiva Zagreb’s Lukas Kačavenda were also stellar for the U21s last match, showing terrific skill on the ball as well as composure.
I expect the Mladi Vatreni to lineup exactly how they did against Azerbaijan. This current U21 squad is by far the most talented group that Croatia has ever produced. It would be a shame to finish anywhere lower than first place by the end of the campaign and to lose points to any other side in the group other than Austria. Croatia will face Azerbaijan, Finland, Norway, Austria, and Estonia (home and away) in this group.
I predict a 4-1 victory for Croatia against Finland. I expect goals from Stipe Biuk, Roko Šimić, Luka Sučić, and one from Marin Ljubičić off the bench. This team is worth finding a stream for as the individual talent on our side is astonishing. You’ll feel nothing but hopeful and amazed by the final whistle. Croatian football has so much success to come.