Tuesday 11 Sep

Spain vs Croatia - Match Preview

10 Sep 2018 Ed Mackey INTERNATIONAL: UEFA Nations League, League A, Gr. 4
INTERNATIONAL: UEFA Nations League, League A, Gr. 4

Spain

  • D
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W

vs

Kick-off
18:45 GMT
11 September 2018

Croatia

  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D

Kick-off
18:45 GMT 11 September 2018

The UEFA Nations League has been great so far as international breaks that would usually be seen as pointless now have a sense of competition. In Group 1D, Spain face Croatia on Tuesday after being England 2-1 in the group’s opening game.

STATS

  • Spain have looked to put the disappointing World Cup display behind them by starting the Nations League campaign strongly. They came from a goal down at Wembley on Sunday night to win 2-1 thanks to goals from Saul and Rodrigo following Marcus Rashford’s opener. That is their second win in their last five internationals with the other victory coming against Iran at the World Cup.
  • Croatia were fantastic over the summer and their great World Cup campaign ended in disappointment as they were beaten 4-2 by France in the final. They drew 1-1 with Portugal in their most recent game which was one of just three times where they’ve failed to win in their last 10 matches. They’ve scored in each of their last six.
  • Rodrigo looked lively against England and managed to get a goal but Alvaro Morata might start in the number nine role on Tuesday which would shift Rodrigo out wide.
  • Croatia’s main attacking threats come in the form of Ivan Perisic and Marko Pjaca while Duje Cop might start the match in the striker position.

HEAD TO HEAD

The two nations have met just six times and the results have been quite even. Spain have won three, Croatia have won and the other ended goalless. The last two fixtures were both at the Euros and in the first one, Spain won 1-0 on the way to the Euro 2012 trophy while Croatia got their revenge in the game in 2016, winning 2-1. There have been over 2.5 goals in three of the six games and they are the only games where both of the teams have scored.

SPAIN NEWS

Diego Costa is one of the main absentees for Spain who hasn’t returned to the squad after his wife gave birth at the weekend. Rodrigo is expected to retain his place but Morata might come into the starting XI.

Latest matches: Spain

08.09.2018 UEFA England Spain 1:2 W
01.07.2018 Worl Spain Russia 4:5 L
25.06.2018 Worl Spain Morocco 2:2 D
20.06.2018 Worl Iran Spain 0:1 W
15.06.2018 Worl Portugal Spain 3:3 D

CROATIA NEWS

Ivan Rakitic wasn’t in the Croatia side that drew with Portugal but he is expected to return against the country he currently plays in. Following Mario Mandzukic’s international retirement, the striker position is still up for grabs.

Latest matches: Croatia

06.09.2018 Int. Portugal Croatia 1:1 D
15.07.2018 Worl France Croatia 4:2 L
11.07.2018 Worl Croatia England 2:1 W
07.07.2018 Worl Russia Croatia 5:6 W
01.07.2018 Worl Croatia Denmark 4:3 W

SUMMARY

With some of the Nations League games being uneventful, this is expected to be different with two of Europe’s strongest sides facing off. Despite Croatia having a brilliant World Cup, they still aren’t favourites to beat Spain away from home. A draw with both teams scoring looks very likely in this one but either team could certainly win.

About the author - Ed Mackey

Experienced sports writer and huge Leicester City fan.

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