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If there is one European football match that looks nailed on to feature many goals this weekend then it is the Croatian 1. HNL game between Rijeka and Lokomotiva Zagreb on Sunday.
The bookmaking community expected Rijeka to challenge for the Croatian 1. HNL title and to make progress in the UEFA Europa League this season. The early signs are that Rijeka does not have the defence to usurp Dinamo Zagreb as the Croatian 1. HNL champion and it is out of the UEFA Europa League already having lost 2-5 on aggregate to Aberdeen.
Rijeka fans are hating watching their team play currently but neutral viewers cannot get enough of the Adriatic side. Rijeka has conceded at least two goals in each of its last four matches across all competitions and three of them have gone over three and a half goals, including its most recent game that resulted in a 3-3 Croatian 1. HNL draw at Zagreb.
Lokomotiva Zagreb matches have not been uneventful affairs, either. Lokomotiva Zagreb’s season kicked off in the UEFA Europa League when it featured in back-to-back four-goal games against Welsh minnow Airbus UK, emerging triumphant 5-3 on aggregate. Lokomotiva Zagreb crashed out of the UEFA Europa League at the same stage as Rijeka, losing 0-6 at PAOK seven days after beating the Greek team 2-1 on home soil. Lokomotiva Zagreb has played seven competitive matches across all competitions this term and all of them have gone over two and a half goals, including four that have gone over three and a half goals. Lokomotiva Zagreb’s seven meaningful games have averaged 4.43 goals, while Rijeka’s five competitive matches have had a mean of 3.80 goals.
And it is not as though high scoring is new to Rijeka and Lokomotiva Zagreb games. Rijeka’s 36 Croatian 1. HNL matches last season had an average of 2.92 goals, a mean that just Lokomotiva Zagreb bettered – 3.53 goals. With regards to betting statistics, 22 of Rijeka’s 36 Croatian 1. HNL games went over two and a half goals, including 15 of its 18 home matches. Twenty-five of Lokomotiva Zagreb’s 36 Croatian 1. HNL games rewarded punters who backed over two and a half goals, including 13 of its 18 away matches. One could list many more numbers but one figures that you get the point, although one will cite last term’s head-to-head results – the sides clashed six times in league and cup action for results of 1-0, 2-1, 4-0, 4-1, 5-0 and 6-0. The three meetings that Rijeka hosted ended 4-1, 5-0 and 6-0.
The purpose is this weekly column is to flag bets at big odds that have a live chance of paying out. BetVictor is offering odds of 15/4 4.75 +375 3.75 3.75 -0.27 that Sunday’s Croatian 1. HNL game between Rijeka and Lokomotiva Zagreb goes over four and a half goals, while Bet365 is quoting odds of 3/1 4.00 +300 3.00 3.00 -0.33 that the away team goes over one and a half goals on its own. One expects to see the odds about both of those wagers fall between the publication time and the kick-off time.
Conservative punters can back the Croatian 1. HNL match between Rijeka and Lokomotiva Zagreb to go over two and a half goals at odds of 67/100 1.67 -149 0.67 -1.49 0.67 with Ladbrokes, while gamblers who really like to walk on the wild side may wish to have an interest in the away team to win but both sides to score, an option that is available at odds of 13/1 14.00 +1300 13.00 13.00 -0.08 with BetVictor.
Rijeka v Lokomotiva Zagreb Over 4.5 goals
2nd August 20:00 GMT
Odds: 15/4 4.75 +375 3.75 3.75 -0.27
Where to Bet: BetVictor
Lokomotiva Zagreb Over 1.5 goals
2nd August 20:00 GMT
Odds: 3/1 4.00 +300 3.00 3.00 -0.33
Where to Bet: Bet365