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Croatia vs Spain, UEFA Euro 2020, Today Match Prediction

Copenhagen, Parken




Less-than-perfect Spain and golden oldies Croatia seeking best form in thrilling Round of 16 clash

  • Spain qualified in second place in Group E, behind Sweden winning just one of three games
  • Croatia also progressing in second behind England, winning their final game against Scotland
  • Winner will face the France or Switzerland in the Quarter Final

Spain to win 1-0

Tournament: UEFA Euro 2020 | Venue: Copenhagen, Parken

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Perhaps for different reasons, Spain and Croatia haven’t quite been the teams we would have expected coming into the tournament, with both finishing in second place and winning one of their three matches.

Spain are a new-looking, fresh-faced outfit who look, quite accurately, as though they haven’t played together all that much and are still coming to terms with their best style of football. 

They were very poor in their opening two games, drawing against both Sweden and Poland, before hitting back in fine fashion to thrash Slovakia 5-0. That result has done little to remove the doubts around this team however, and they’ll need huge improvements to go deeper into the competition.

Croatia, on the other hand, are full of experienced players, veterans of the World Cup final three years ago, but now perhaps past their best. 

Some of their players are still top class, and they will give Spain a good game here, but do they have the energy to reach the latter stages of the competition?

Croatia Preview

World Ranking: 14

Best Historical Finish at the Euros: Quarter Finals, 1996/2008

Reasons to be cheerful:

     Have grown into the tournament, earning a strong win over Scotland

     Experienced players such as Modric and Perisic can have the egde

Reasons to be fearful:

     Older squad may lack energy compared to Spain’s

     Knocked out at this stage at the last Euros

Croatia got themselves out of a sticky situation on the final day of the group stage, thrashing Scotland and in doing so, rising from bottom of Group D to second to gain automatic qualification.

In truth, it has not presented them with an easier fixture as the Czech Republic now face the Netherlands. 

There in undoubted quality in this squad, with Modric a former Ballon d’Or winner, and Perisic, Rebic, Kovacic and Lovren all playing for top class European clubs. 

However, with as many as eight of their starting XI over 30 years of age, compared to two of Spain, this is an ageing team that may not be able to cope with the energy and fitness of the Spanish legs.

Star Man – Luca Modric

Reminded us all of his quality with a superb strike against Scotland recently. He has the quality to dictate the game in midfield.

Spain Preview

World Ranking: 6

Best Historical Finish at the Euros: Winners, 1964/2008/2012

Reasons to be cheerful:

     5-0 thrashing of Slovakia proves that there is goalscoring ability in the team

     Plenty of options from the bench

Reasons to be fearful:

     Croatia’s defence will be difficult to break down

     Still doubts about best striking options

This will be Spain’s first game of the this tournament played outside their home country, meaning they will need to make the 1,500 miles north to Copenhagen for their clash against Croatia.

They should still be the fresher of the two teams, with Croatia spending their group stage travelling between England and Scotland.

Spain have plenty of attacking options at their disposal, but perhaps do not quite know how to get the best out of them at this stage. For all the celebrating that the 5-0 win over Slovakia produced, none of their goals were scored by the strikers who started the game. 

Misfiring Morata has one goal for the tournament, and looks desperately short of confidence.

They should have more energy than the Croatian side, but can they make their possession pay?

Star Man – Ferran Torres

With Morata’s troubles in front of goal continuing, the fresh energy of a confident Torres could come to Spain’s advantage here.

     Spain will boss possession as always

     Croatia’s hopes will lie in wide positions

     Team who scores first should go on to win

If Spain thought that their scoring problems were over as they put five goals past Slovakia in their last game, they will be put to the test once again here.

Croatia know that they’ll see less of the possession here, and that they’ll be forced back for much of the game. It shouldn’t trouble them, however. They have a solid defence, and players who can break forward quickly.

Spain do have plenty of attacking options, however, and if one tactic doesn’t work, then expect them to find a way with another.

Spain to win 1-0


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Author: Ross B.