Thursday 15 Nov

Croatia vs Spain - Match Preview

15 Nov 2018 Ed Mackey INTERNATIONAL: UEFA Nations League, League A, Gr. 4
INTERNATIONAL: UEFA Nations League, League A, Gr. 4

Croatia

  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W

vs

Kick-off
19:45 GMT
15 November 2018

Spain

  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

Kick-off
19:45 GMT 15 November 2018

Another European international break means more Nations League football and two of the biggest sides in world football meet on Thursday as Spain make the trip to Croatia.

STATS

  • As we all know, Croatia were brilliant in France as they finished as runners-up behind the hosts. However, they haven’t been as good in their competitive fixtures in the time since. They’ve failed to win either of the Nations League matches (6-0 loss to Spain and 0-0 against England) and their only win came in an unconvincing 2-0 victory over minnows Jordan.
  • Spain’s premature exit from the World Cup has been met by some promising performances. Although, following three wins, they were undone in their last match in front of their own fans as Raheem Sterling led England to a famous 3-2 win. They are still top of the group with six points, ahead of the Three Lions on four.
  • Croatia are yet to score in UEFA’s newly-formed competition which could have some relation to Mario Mandzukic’s international retirement.
  • With 10 goals in their three games, Spain have three joint leading scorers: Saul, Rodrigo and Sergio Ramos all have three.

HEAD TO HEAD

The two teams have met on five occasions this side of the 21st century. Spain have won three of those while Croatia have won once with a draw making up the five. By far the biggest of those came last time as the Spanish managed an emphatic 6-0 victory, one of the most surprising results of recent times. Both teams have scored in both of the last two fixtures with over 2.5 goals being scored on both occasions.

CROATIA NEWS

There are several injured players for Croatia which will hamper their chances of winning. Marin Leovac, Ivan Strinic and Josip Pivaric are among the men who have not been selected.

Latest matches: Croatia

15.10.2018 Int. Croatia Jordan 2:1 W
12.10.2018 UEFA Croatia England 0:0 D
11.09.2018 UEFA Spain Croatia 6:0 L
06.09.2018 Int. Portugal Croatia 1:1 D
15.07.2018 Worl France Croatia 4:2 L

SPAIN NEWS

The visitors have some injury worries of their own as Dani Carvajal, Koke, Diego Costa, Thiago and Nacho all miss out. They are able to welcome back Jordi Alba who couldn't feature during the last break.

Latest matches: Spain

15.10.2018 UEFA Spain England 2:3 L
11.10.2018 Int. Wales Spain 1:4 W
11.09.2018 UEFA Spain Croatia 6:0 W
08.09.2018 UEFA England Spain 1:2 W
01.07.2018 Worl Spain Russia 4:5 L

SUMMARY

As Croatia return to a stadium full of fans, they are seen as big underdogs. Their results since the World Cup indicate a huge hangover while Spain have thrived under new management. Spain to win and both teams to score looks a good shout as does over 2.5 goals which would be a safer bet.

About the author - Ed Mackey

Experienced sports writer and huge Leicester City fan.

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