Croatia vs Spain Preview & Prediction

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THE FACTS

When does Croatia vs Spain kick off? Croatia vs Spain will take place on Monday 28th June, 2021 at 17:00 (UK)

Where is Croatia vs Spain being played? Croatia vs Spain will take place at Parken, Copenhagen

Where can I get tickets for Croatia vs Spain? Click here for the latest ticket information for Croatia vs Spain

What television channel is Croatia vs Spain on in the UK? Croatia vs Spain will be televised live on ITV

Where can I stream Croatia vs Spain in the UK? This match can be streamed live on the ITV Hub

HEAD-TO-HEAD

All matches: Croatia 3 wins, Spain 4 wins, 1 draws

Last meeting: Croatia 3-2 Spain (15/11/18)

THE LOWDOWN

CROATIA

  • Croatia only picked up a point from their first two games in Group D but secured their passage to the round of 16 with a 3-1 win over Scotland last time out although the World Cup runners-up will likely need to improve even more if they are to navigate their way past Spain here.
  • The task ahead of them has been made that much more difficult by the fact that key player Ivan Perisic has tested positive for COVID-19 so he will miss out here and that is a huge blow given how influential he is to the side.
  • Dejan Lovren is also suspended for this one after picking up a pair of yellow cards in the group stage so Caleta-Car could be the man to deputise in the heart of Zlatko Dalic’s defence.

SPAIN

  • The Spaniards, who drew their first two matches, also left it late to make it out of the group but silenced the doubters with a resounding 5-0 victory over Slovakia – the biggest margin of victory so far at EURO 2020.
  • Luis Enrique made a few changes for that Slovakia win and, given how well they performed, he could well field the likes of Eric Garcia and Pablo Sarabia again, while captain Sergio Busquets should also retain his spot in midfield.
  • Cesar Azplicueta is the only known injury concern at present and the Chelsea captain’s place at right-back is likely to be taken by Marcos Llorente, while Ferran Torres will be pushing for inclusion after he came off the bench to score last time out.

THE TEAM NEWS

CROATIA

PREDICTED XI (4-3-3): Livakovic; Vrsaljko Vida, Caleta-Car, Gvardiol; Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic; Vlasic, Rebic, Petkovic

UNAVAILABLE: Lovren (Suspended), Perisic (Isolating)

QUESTIONABLE:

SPAIN

PREDICTED XI (4-3-3): Unai Simon; Marcos Llorente, Laporte, Pau Torres, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Rodri, Pedri; Gerard Moreno, Morata, Sarabia

UNAVAILABLE:

QUESTIONABLE: Azpilicueta (Injured)

THE KEY STATS

  • Each of Croatia’s last two EURO final tournament knockout phase matches went into extra-time after finishing without a goal in normal time – Match to go into extra-time
  • Croatia have won two of their last three international matches against Spain – Croatia to win
  • Ivan Perišić has scored a goal in four of Croatia’s last six international matches – Ivan Perišić to score anytime
  • Spain have not conceded more than one goal in any of their last 27 international matches – Croatia under 1.5 goals
  • Spain have kept a total of 12 clean sheets in their last 16 EURO final tournament matches – Spain to keep a clean sheet

THE PREDICTION

Spain completely dominated their first two matches without converting their chances but they were far more clinical against Slovakia with the introduction of Pablo Sarabia to the starting line-up proving a masterstroke from Luis Enrique. The presence of national captain Sergio Busquets in midfield also makes a huge difference and they go into this round of 16 encounter as favourites against a Croatian side who will be missing two key players. Dejan Lovren’s suspension doesn’t help but the loss of Ivan Perisic is even more significant so there will be an even greater onus on skipper Luka Modric to produce the magic. Ultimately, Spain are given the nod here but don’t rule out some nervy moments along the way.

Tip: SPAIN TO WIN

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