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Top Rakitic and Morata specials for Croatia vs. Spain Euro 2016

Match 32 – 9pm local time on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 at Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux

Croatia – $4.60 at Bet365
Draw – $3.10 at
Spain – $2.05 at Sportsbet

The group stages aren’t quite done, but already Spain have vaulted into outright favouritism for the 2016 European Championship title.

Turkey were no match for the defending champions as Alvaro Morata found the back of the net twice in an easy 3-0 win.

That result has seen Vicente del Bosque’s side shorten from around $6 into $4.33 at CrownBet, leapfrogging hosts France ($4.50) in the EURO 2016 outright odds.

It’s a sharp price fall for a team that struggled to break down an organised but uninspiring Czech Republic outfit in the opening round of fixtures.

With familiar names like Xabi Alonso, Alvaro Arbeloa, Juan Mata, Fernando Torres, David Villa and Xavi no longer on the roster, this is very much a Spanish side in transition.

But core members such as Cesc Fabregas, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos and David Silva remain, while there’s no denying the abilities of Koke, Morata, Nolito, Thiago and the other new faces.

They’ve already booked passage into the round of 16, where Croatia will hope to join them.

Ante Cacic’s men were moments away from securing a spot in the knockout rounds when they conceded a controversial late penalty to the Czech Republic.

Tomas Necid slotted it home in the 94th minute to make it 2-2, which leaves the Croats needing a single point to make absolutely certain of progression.

Even then, UEFA might have other ideas.

European football’s governing body said this week that it will have no hesitation booting Croatia out of the Euros if there are any repeats of the fan violence that marred the draw with the Czechs.

That would be a sad fate for such a talented squad, especially as many believe this is the last chance for the former Yugoslav nation’s golden generation to make a real impact at a major tournament.

Stalwarts Niko Kranjcar, Ivica Olic and Josip Simunic are long gone, while Vedran Corluka, Mario Mandzukic and Luka Modric are all in their 30s.

Even the likes of Milan Badelj, Ivan Perisic and Ivan Rakitic – now a veteran of three Euro tournaments – are no longer young pups.

Another of the old guard is Darijo Srna, who flew home after the win over Turkey to attend his father’s funeral.

Croatian officials are yet to confirm whether the skipper will be available for Tuesday’s trip to Bordeaux.

Ivan Rakitic Euro 2016 betting

If Modric is the most important man in Croatia’s midfield, Rakitic runs a close second.

The Barcelona star is a true box-to-box player whose hard running, high pressure and direct passing make him a handful at any level.

He could so easily have scored against both the Czechs and the Turks, who struggled to pick up his breaks from the middle of the park.

La Roja will be well aware of the threat posed by the 28-year-old, who has played in La Liga since joining Sevilla in 2011.

Along with Perisic, he will be the key in Croatia’s attempts to unlock the Spanish back line.

Rakitic to score anytime – $7.50 (Sportsbet)

Rakitic to score Croatia’s first goal – $10 (Sportsbet)

Rakitic to score the first goal – $17 (Bet365)

Rakitic to score two or more goals – $91 (Sportsbet)

Alvaro Morata players specials

Four days is a long time in football.

Morata was made the scapegoat for Spain’s frustrating display against the Czechs – if such a thing can even happen after a win.

But the Juventus forward answered his critics in the best possible fashion, open his Euro account with two well-taken strikes against Turkey.

Not all are sold on Morata’s finishing prowess, however, citing the fact he has scored only 15 league goals in two seasons in Serie A.

Can the former Real Madrid prospect keep his scoring boots on and seal a starting spot for the knockout rounds?

Morata to score anytime and Spain to win – $3 (William Hill)

Morata to score the first goal – $6 (Sportsbet)

Morata to score a header – $9 (William Hill)

Morata to score in both halves – $21 (William Hill)

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