Spain will be looking to build on their five-star performance in their last match at the European Championship. Then Spain will take on Croatia in the last-16 stage of Euro 2020 on Monday night.
La Roja finished second in Group E. For that, they advance to the knockout round of the competition. Also, Croatia was eliminated at this stage of the 2016 tournament. Also, they claimed the second position in Group D behind England.
Croatia vs Spain Match Preview
Croatia got their Group D campaign off to the worst possible start. They lost 1-0 to England on June 13. They left the 2018 World Cup finalists playing catch-up in the section. Especially as the Czech Republic, opened their tournament with a win over Scotland to join England on three points after the first game week.
The Blazers were then held to a 1-1 draw by the Czech Republic. This draw left them in a difficult spot ahead of their clash with Scotland on June 22. Also, a strong performance from Zlatko Dalic’s side saw them claim all three points courtesy of a 3-1 success. In this match, Nikola Vlasic, Luka Modric, and Ivan Perisic are on the scoresheet.
The victory at Hampden Park allowed Croatia to move above the Czech Republic into the second position in Group D. But unfortunately, it has seen them handed a difficult last-16 clash with Spain.
Dalic’s team reached the final of the 2018 World Cup. But their record at the European Championship is underwhelming. They have failed to progress past the quarter-final stage.
Despite a strong performance against Scotland, it is difficult to imagine the Blazers seriously challenging for the trophy. Also, they could meet favorites France in the quarter-finals.
Spain, meanwhile, produced easily their standout performance of Euro 2020 on Wednesday night. They recorded a 5-0 victory over Slovakia to secure their spot in the Round of 16.
La Roja looked to be finishing top of Group E. But Sweden scored late to beat Poland on the same evening. For this reason, they move to the summit and pushed Luis Enrique’s side into second.
Spain opened their tournament with a goalless draw against Sweden on June 14 before being held to a 1-1 draw by Poland five days later, as Robert Lewandowski canceled out an effort from Alvaro Morata, which left the three-time winners facing the possibility of elimination in the group stage.
A five-star display against Slovakia arrived on June 23, though, with Aymeric Laporte, Pablo Sarabia, and Ferran Torres on the scoresheet, while two own goals also helped Enrique’s team.
La Roja is bidding to win a fourth European Championship, which would make them the most successful team in the history of the tournament. As it stands, they are level on three trophies with Germany, having triumphed in the 1964, 2008, and 2012 editions of the famous competition.
Croatia European Championship form:
L D W
Croatia form (all competitions):
W D L L D W
Spain European Championship form:
D D W
Spain form (all competitions):
W D W D D W
Croatia vs Spain Team News:
Croatia’s XI is expected to have a similar look to the one that started against Scotland last time out. They will start with Modric, Marcelo Brozovic, and Mateo Kovacic again lining up as the midfield three in a 4-3-3 formation.
Sime Vrsaljko will be hoping to win back the right-back position from Josip Juranovic. But it could otherwise be an unchanged side, with Bruno Petkovic likely to keep his spot in the final third alongside Perisic.
As for Spain, there is no question that the performance against Slovakia would have pleased Enrique. Enrique is likely to hand another start to Sarabia in an attacking position.
Cesar Azpilicueta could keep out Marcos Llorente to feature at right-back once again. But there might be a change in the back four. Pau Torres potentially replacing Eric Garcia to start alongside Laporte.
Ferran Torres and Thiago Alcantara are both expected to miss out on positions in the first XI despite impressing off the bench against Slovakia.
Morata’s spot in the side continues to be debated, but the 28-year-old, who missed a penalty on Wednesday, seemingly has the full support of his manager and is likely to retain his position in the middle of the front three, while Villarreal’s Gerard Moreno could also be given the nod in an attacking area.
Croatia possible starting lineup:
Livakovic; Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Gvardiol; Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic; Vlasic, Petkovic, Perisic
Spain possible starting lineup:
Simon; Azpilicueta, Laporte, Torres, Alba; Pedri, Busquets, Koke; Sarabia, Morata, G Moreno