Read our prediction for Rijeka vs Lok. Zagreb below. This preview was written by a sport journalist who is specialised in betting tips and predictions. Use our betting tips for the match between Rijeka vs Lok. Zagreb and you can increase your winnings!
Rijeka vs Lok. Zagreb Prediction & Betting tips
It was undoubtedly the big surprise of match day 28 of the newly resumed 1st HNL, the top division in Croatia, when NK Lokomotiva won 1-0 in the city derby against the leaders Dinamo Zagreb. The “Lucky Punch” came just before the final whistle only through a not undisputed penalty, which the referee gave only after minutes of video analysis. Nevertheless, David won the derby against the great Goliath in the end.
Now the Lokosi have of course licked blood and want to defeat the reigning Croatian cup winner and current runners-up in the form of HNK Rijeka. After all, it is also important to set an example with regard to this year’s cup final, in which both teams will face each other on August 1, 2020.
It can be seen from the betting odds comparison that in Rijeka against Lokomotiva Zagreb the odds swing in the direction of the home side. No wonder, because the Riječki bijeli are among the big names in Croatian football.
For Rijeka against Lokomotiva Zagreb, the forecast also has to take into account that Simon Rozman’s team lost only two of their 14 home games at Rujevica stadium in the 2019/20 season. On the Lokosi side, there are six bankruptcies from 14 games in the distance.
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HNK Rijeka was founded by English workers in 1873 and can look back on a very lively history. The club, which was founded in Yugoslavia, celebrated the national cup victory twice.
Since 2013 the club has entered its most successful phase in Croatian national football. Gabriele Volpi, who owns 70% of the traditional club, invested heavily in the Riječki bijeli. It is also thanks to the Italian businessman that the national championship was celebrated for the first time in 2017. There are also three other cup wins (2014, 2017 and 2019) and the Supercup in 2014.
This year, on the other hand, there is no way to get around the long-running favorite Dinamo Zagreb at national level, who lead the table with 17 points ahead of HNK Rijeka after 28 of 36 match days. So Simon Rozman’s men even have to fear for second place in the table. After the goalless draw against NK Varazdin, the kickers from the Croatian city of detention are only ahead of Hajduk Split because of the direct comparison.
In this home game against NK Lokomotiva, second place, which would at least qualify for the Champions League, could be a thing of the past. The Lokosi are fourth only two points behind the Riječki bijeli. It is all the more remarkable that in Rijeka against Lokomotiva Zagreb the odds swing quite clearly in the direction of the home side.
One reason for this can certainly be found in the home strength mentioned at the beginning. After all, only two home defeats from 14 games are a respectable value. But momentum also plays a role. There have been only two defeats in the last 14 competitive games. One of them with leaders Dinamo Zagreb. The other was controversial on February 1, 2020 away against today’s opponent Lokomotiva Zagreb, when it was 1: 2 after 90 minutes.
Exactly for this loss, the strong Riječki bijeli want to retaliate today and have good cards for the current squad. After all, coach Simon Rozman can draw on the full and does not have to block a single service provider, let alone injured.
Judging by the fact that HNK Rijeka has not lost a single of the subsequent 14 home games against Lokosi since April 2013 (twelve wins, two draws), chances are very good that the players from the port city will have a “big point” in the fight for the Vice championship succeeds.
For NK Lokomotiva Zagreb, the restart was in extremes after the break. First, the Lokosi, who are also strong at home, suffered a bitter 0-1 loss to NK Osijek in their own stadium and experienced a bitter setback in the fight for qualification for the Europa League qualifying rounds against a chase.
Then, however, the captains of the city prevailed against city rivals Dinamo Zagreb in the “derby” and added the undisputed league leaders and Croatian champions to the fourth league defeat in the 2019/20 season.
Lokomotiva Zagreb is well-armed in the coming weeks, in which on the one hand a place in the top four should be brought across the finish line via league operations, in order to eventually move into the Europa League in the 2020/21 season via the qualifying rounds. And on the other hand, the cup final is due on August 1, 2020, for which the Lokosi have successfully qualified for the second time in their club’s history.
In the 2012/13 season, when they still played in the old mode with a two-leg game, they had the chance to win the title against Hajduk Split, so this time it is the first cup for the showcases of the clubhouse. Against this background, the league game against the Riječki bijeli is all the more explosive. After all, it is already important to send the opponent a clear signal and to build on the recent 2-1 win in the 1st HNL.
That Rijeka against Lokomotiva Zagreb tip 2 could end up in the end cannot be completely ruled out. With too good away values, the Lokosi do not go into the match in the Rujevica stadium. In the 2019/20 season, Goran Tomic’s team was able to convert only five of the 14 away trips into a three – the main reason why, despite strong home values, it is “only” enough for fourth place in the overall table.
The Lokosi did not get their otherwise good defense values in foreign stadiums particularly well, as evidenced by 17 goals against in the distance, which in turn are only matched by 13 away goals they scored themselves. Only three other teams in the 1st HNL have scored less in their guest appearances so far.
Nevertheless, the energy that the hard-won derby victory for the capitals undoubtedly released should not be underestimated. In addition, Goran Tomic can also look forward to a fully operational team.
Rijeka vs Lok. Zagreb head to head matches
01.02.20 1HN Lok. Zagreb Rijeka 2 : 1
06.10.19 1HN Rijeka Lok. Zagreb 1 : 1
27.07.19 1HN Lok. Zagreb Rijeka 0 : 1
18.05.19 1HN Rijeka Lok. Zagreb 1 : 0
29.03.19 1HN Lok. Zagreb Rijeka 1 : 2