Spain and Croatia are set to feature in one of the most mouth-watering clashes of this year in the international circuit when they take on against each other in the title clash of UEFA Nation League that will be hosted in De Kuip stadium, in Netherlands. Both of the teams will be looking out for a morale boosting victory as Spain will look forward to add another trophy to their stellar cabinet and on the other hand, Croatia will be pumped up to clinch their first silverware.
A heavyweight clash
As the international scenario kicked in, four of the European giants, Italy, Spain, Croatia and Netherlands were ready to lock horns with each other in Netherlands, as all four teams would be upbeat to knock each other out in the semifinals. No one could have figured out the results of the two semifinals as Netherlands faced off against Croatia and Spain locking horns against defending EURO champions Italy. In the first top four clash, it was a Luka Modric masterclass who stole the thunder from hosts Netherlands after the World Cup 2022 semifinalists secured a thumping victory over the Dutch giants by a margin of 4-2, where the match went to extra time after tying 2-2 at the end of regulation time. The Real Madrid veteran assisted Bruno Petkovic who made the score line 3-2 in favor of Croats, and won the penalty before rounding the match off by scoring it, thus sealing the deal for them. As they say, form is temporary, class is permanent!
Meanwhile, on the other hand, it was a Joselu winner in the dying minutes which made the EURO 2012 champions Spain set their foot in the ultimate title showdown, thus targeting another silverware after a decade. It is the second consecutive time the Spaniards are in to the final of this tournament, previously losing out to France two years back, as they will be looking to go a step ahead this time to clinch the title this time. The semifinal against Italy was well poised and looked to go in to the extra time but the Espanyol forward Joselu had other things in mind as he hit the back of the net on the 88th minute, thus crashing the Italian dreams of reaching the finals.
Spain vs Croatia: team news
With a mouth-watering clash on the blocks, both teams will be looking to field their best teams in order to win this tournament. Luis De La Fuente’s side will be upbeat to face off against first silverware chasing Zlatko Dalic’s Croatia as both the sides will plan to do something best in the title showdown.
For Spain, it might be the same team as the semifinal as De La Fuente would like to go with his winning combination in the final. They are the favorites to win the tournament as they narrowly edged past the European champions Italy in the semifinal clash. He would look to keep together a blend of experience and youth which might help him achieve his target. Debutant in the last game and one match old Le Normand would like to keep his place in the central defense or De La Fuente would look for an experienced body in the backline by fielding Dani Carvajal. In the front it will mostly be Alvaro Morata who would be supported by talented youngsters Gavi, Yeremy Pino and Rodrigo in the attacking midfield. The Champions League hero for Manchester City Rodri will mostly be fielded in his normal defensive midfield position along with Mikel Merino.
As for Zlatko Dalic’s team, he will also look for the winning combination to continue as he would not like to make several changes unless it is a forced one. He will be without the services of his best defender Joska Gvardiol who was the opponent striker’s nightmare in the World Cup spectacle, as Dalic might start with experienced Domagoj Vida and Josip Sutalo in the defense. Once again, Croatian fans will expect a Modric masterclass as the veteran will be having one last shot at a silverware, and the forward line will consist of a three-thong attack with Kramaric in the center to be flanked by Mario Pasalic and the seasoned Ivan Perisic.
Spain vs Croatia: predicted line-up
Spain: Simon; Alba, Laporte, Le Normand, Carvajal; Merino, Rodri, Yeremy, Joselu, Gavi; Morata
Croatia: Livakovic; Stanisic, Vida, Sutalo, Juranovic; Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic, Perisic, Kramaric, Pasalic
Spain vs Croatia: Match prediction
Spain 2-1 Croatia
Spain vs Croatia: Head-to-Head
Spain wins: 2
Croatia wins: 2
Last meeting: Spain 5-3 Croatia
Spain vs Croatia: Venue, Date, Time, Where to watch
Venue: De Kuip Stadium
Date: Monday 19 June
Time: 12:15 AM (Indian Standard Time)
Where to watch: Sony LIV