Spain vs Croatia predictions and match preview for Monday’s Euro 2020 clash. Read on for the head-to-head and analysis as La Roja begin the knockout stage.
- DATE: Monday 28th June 2021
- KICK-OFF: 18:00 (local time)
- STADIUM: Parken, Copenhagen
- COMPETITION: Euro 2020 Last 16
Spain vs Croatia Preview
Spain face Croatia in the last 16 of Euro 2020 this Monday. It’ll be the biggest test of the tournament so far for Luis Enrique and his side, but they’ll be in much better spirits after a more convincing display in their final group stage game.
Having been held to frustrating draws by Sweden and Poland, Spain cut loose and fired five goals past a poor Slovakian side. Luis Enrique made some bold section calls but was rewarded, particularly by Pablo Sarabia who got one of the five goals and impressed throughout on the flank. The only sour note was a missed penalty for Alvaro Morata but a warm reception when he came off ought to have provided a much needed boost to his confidence levels.
The temptation may be to name the same XI here although clearly Croatia will provide a sterner test. Combating the talents of Luka Modric will be key to Spain’s chances of progression. There is even the option of bringing in an energetic midfielder like Marcos Llorente to do a man-marking job on him as La Roja will feel if they can stop Modric, they should progress.
Scotland failed to do that in Croatia’s final group game. A bit like Spain, the Croats had made a slow start to the tournament but came alive with an excellent performance at Hampden Park, clinching a 3-1 win with Modric scoring a fabulous goal with the outside of his foot. He doesn’t have quite as much quality around him as he did three years ago but Croatia are an experienced side who you write off at your peril.
Copenhagen is the venue for this one, so it should be cooler than the conditions Spain have become accustomed to in Seville and we may see a faster tempo to the game as a result. Neither side is the full article but if they can produce the level of their most recent games, we could be in for one of the ties of the round at Euro 2020 and it promises to be a very watchable affair.
Borna Barisic is the only injury doubt for Croatia but the defender is unlikely to start in any case. Ivan Perisic has tested positive for Covid-19 since the last game and will play no part.
Spain have no fresh concerns and should largely stick with the team that beat Slovakia.
Croatia Predicted XI:
Livakovic – Gvardiol, Vida, Lovren, Vrsaljko – Kovacic, Brozovic, Modric – Rebic, Petkovic, Vlasic (4-3-3)
Spain Predicted XI:
Simon – Alba, Garcia, Laporte, Azpilicueta – Pedri, Busquets, Koke – Moreno, Morata, Sarabia (4-3-3)
Head to Head
- Last 6 Meetings: 3 Spain Wins, 2 Croatia Wins, 1 Draw.
- The sides last met in the Nations League in 2018.
- Spain won 6-0 at home but lost 3-2 in Zagreb.
- This is the third straight Euros in which the teams have met, with Spain 1-0 winners in 2012 while Croatia won 2-1 at Euro 2016.
Spain vs Croatia Predictions
Score Prediction: Spain 2-2 Croatia (Match goes to Extra Time & Pens)
This is a significant step up in class for Spain and unlike their group games, they won’t enjoy total domination of the football. Croatia are also likely to pose more problems but that could help Spain get a bit more space going forward and they haven’t struggled to create chances at this tournament. Spain are the favourites but this is likely to be a close game and it wouldn’t be a huge shock if it went the distance.