NK Istra 1961
16:00 GMT 29 March 2018
With a large proportion of recent European football being on the international stage, there hasn’t been much room for club football. However, with all the World Cup warm-ups done, the final stretch of the season can commence. This begins on Thursday in Croatia as Rudes and Istra 1961 meet with both sides looking to avoid the drop. Rudes are rooted to the bottom of the table while Istra are precariously one place above the relegation play-off position.
This season is the first where these two teams have been in the same division and with every side playing each other four times, they have faced off twice already. Rudes won the first one 1-0 on their turf before Istra won 2-1 in their stadium which will provide a boost for the home side on Thursday. Over the two fixtures, there were 14 bookings so it might be worth expecting a feisty game.
Three points would see Rudes move into 9th which would take them out of the automatic relegation place and into the play-off place, however, if Cibalia pick up a draw or win on Friday, it would take Rudes back to the bottom.
Latest matches: NK Rudes
|17.03.2018||1. H||NK Dinamo Zagreb||NK Rudes||2:0||L|
|14.03.2018||1. H||HNK Cibalia-Vinkovci||NK Rudes||1:1||D|
|09.03.2018||1. H||NK Slaven Belupo||NK Rudes||2:0||L|
|03.03.2018||1. H||HNK Hajduk Split||NK Rudes||1:0||L|
|16.02.2018||1. H||NK Rudes||NK Inter Zapresic||2:0||W|
While mathematically it is possible for Istra to move up a place with a win, the seven-goal goal difference between them and 7th-placed Lokomotiva Zagreb is an unrealistic target to reach. It would steer them further from the drop zone though.
Latest matches: NK Istra 1961
|24.03.2018||1. H||NK Inter Zapresic||NK Istra 1961||1:0||L|
|16.03.2018||1. H||NK Istra 1961||NK Slaven Belupo||2:1||W|
|10.03.2018||1. H||HNK Hajduk Split||NK Istra 1961||3:2||L|
|02.03.2018||1. H||NK Istra 1961||HNK Cibalia-Vinkovci||0:0||D|
|17.02.2018||1. H||NK Istra 1961||NK Lokomotiva Zagreb||1:0||W|
Of the three lowest scoring sides in Croatia’s top-flight, Thursday night’s game sees two of them in action so it won’t produce fireworks. Rudes have already shown they can beat Istra at home and the visitors’ away form is nothing short of abysmal so the hosts should fancy their chances. Although, Istra are in a better position in the league so shouldn’t be overlooked.
29 March 2018 - 16:00 GMT
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