Euro 2012, Group C, Thursday, Poznan, 5pm
IT'S been pointed out by a few people that the last eight games have featured both teams scoring.
That's a fairly remarkable stat for a major finals and it could reach in a row today.
Some of the matches just haven't looked like they'll produce goals but there is a good feel to Croatia and Italy after both played well in their openers. I can see both teams scoring and that pays 11-10 (various).
Italy performed better than expected against Spain and playing two up front was a breath of fresh air. Admittedly, one of those was Mario Balotelli who didn't do much but pick up the first caution as I predicted.
He's likely to be replaced by Antonio di Natale who netted minutes after his introduction and hopefully the Italians will pair him with Antonio Cassano. Di Natale is 13-2 at BetVictor and Paddy Power to score first and 5-2 with Paddy Power at anytime.
Croatia, my pre-tournament dark horse tips, brushed aside the Irish pretty easily and didn't have to work too hard for their goals.
Nikica Jelavic finished his chance well but was overshadowed by team-mate Mario Mandzukic who bagged a double. Mandzukic is 9-1 at Paddy Power and bet365 to score first while Everton star Jelavic is 15-2 with Coral.
Jelavic's last 27 goals for Rangers, Everton and Croatia have been with his first touch and unibet offer an industry best 17-5 that he nets at any time.
This will be much tougher for the Croats and I can see it being a draw which will probably suit Italy with a final group game against Ireland to follow. A stalemate pays 11-5 (various) while Croatia are 13-5 (Coral) and Italy 13-10 (William Hill, BetVictor, Blue Square).
Italy have only beaten Croatia once (in 1942). They have played each other five times in recent years with the Croats winning three and the Italians two.
On the basis of that stat Ladbrokes' 11-8 on Croatia draw no bet looks worth a look.
Croatia draw no bet
Mandzukic to score
(7-2, Paddy Power)
Di Natale to score
(5-2, Paddy Power)
Both teams to score