Croatia v Spain Prediction, Preview & Odds – Nations League Final
We have a Croatia v Spain prediction along with all the betting odds for you ahead of their Nations League Final on Sunday night.
Croatia v Spain Match Info
When? 7.45 pm, Sunday, June 18th
Where? De Kuip, Rotterdam, Netherlands.
TV Channel? Virgin Media 2 and Channel 4.
Croatia v Spain Odds
The odds makers make Spain 20/21 favourites to win in 90 minutes, the draw is 23/10 while Croatia are 14/5 to win in 90 minutes.
Spain are 1/2 To Lift the Trophy while Croatia are 6/4.
The Form – Croatia v Spain
Croatia have been one of the most consistent forces in International Football since Zlatko Dalic took the job in 2017. Dalich has overseen the most successful period in the country’s history as the he has led the Croats to a World Cup Runners-Up finish in 2018 along with a 2020 European Championship Round of 16 appearance.
Most recently they finished third place at the 2022 World Cup, following their 3-0 defeat to eventual champions Argentina in the Semi-Final. They would go on to win the third-place play-off against Morocco 2-1 to continue their impressive form in international football’s most prestigious tournament.
Croatia commenced their UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifying Campaign in March at home where a late Wales goal from Nathan Broadhead in the 93rd minute prevented them from winning. However, they earned themselves a solid 0-2 victory against Turkey in their next game to get back on track.
Croatia continued their good form on Wednesday with a dramatic 2-4 victory against The Netherlands. Initially, they came from 1-0 behind to go 2-1 up through Pašalić in the 72nd minute but a 96th-minute equaliser sent the game to extra-time
However Croatia eventually saw off the Netherlands’ challenge by getting two goals in extra time to get themselves a 2-4 win and a place in the final.
Spain enjoyed a period of dominance on the international stage from 2008-2012 in which they won two European Championships and of course a FIFA World Cup. In recent years their “Golden Generation” has dried up with the retirements and international retirements of almost all their World Cup winning team.
In fact, Jesus Navas is the only player remaining from that team and he captained the Spanish in their Nations League semi-final against Italy.
Following their shock Round of 16 elimination in the 2022 World Cup at the hands of Morocco on penalties Luis Enrique resigned as Spanish manager. Former Spanish U19, U21 and U23 coach Luis de la Fuente took over the role on the 8th of December.
Since taking over in the Spanish senior role, de la Fuente has had mixed success. His first game in charge saw La Furia Roja defeat Norway 3-0 in March.
Unfortunately for de la Fuente and Spain they suffered defeat in the second fixture of the March international window. That loss came against Scotland where they lost 2-0 at Hampden Park thanks to two goals from Scott McTominay.
It remains early days in the de la Fuente reign so we will have to allow him a little time before we can cast questions on what changes he is making, but winning this year’s Nations League would gain him plenty of favour among Spanish supporters.
Spain overcame Italy 2-1 in their semi-final win. They went 1-0 up through Yeremy Pino in the third minute before Immobile equalised for Italy from the spot in the eleventh minute. A late goal from super-sub Joselu in the 88th minute snatched the win.
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Croatia v Spain Predicted Lineups
Croatia’s Predicted XI
RB: Juranovic, CB: Suatalo, CB: Erlić, LB: Perisic
CM: Modric, CM: Brozovic , CM: Kovacic
RW: Pasalic, CF: Kramaric LW: Ivanusec
Spain’s Predicted XI
RB: Naves, CB: Le Normand, CB: Laporte, LB: Alba
CM: Rodri, CM: Merino
RW: Asensio, AM: Gavi, LW: Pino
Key Players To Watch
This man is ageing like an absolutely fine wine! Despite playing 119 minutes against The Netherlands on Wednesday there were no stamina issues for the now 37-year-old! Modric was crucial to the Croatian attack with 1 Goal, 1 Assist and completing 81/91 (89%) of his passes. To go with that he creating two goal scoring chances and won his team a crucial penalty.
Not only was Modric brilliant in attack but he also shone in the defensive side of the ball. The Real Madrid star won 2/2 of his tackles, made 1 clearance and 11 ball recoveries. He also won 8/14 of his ground duels and 2/2 of his aerial duels. It was nothing short of a complete performance. If he can do the same on Sunday the Spanish will be in a lot of trouble.
For as strong as Modric and Croatia might be in midfield, Spain aren’t short in that area of the field either. Rodri put in a top-class performance against Italy fresh off his Champions League victory.
The Man City defensive midfielder completed 103/107 (96%) of his passes, creating four chances, having 122 touches along with 5/6 (83%) accurate long balls.
In defence, he was also his usual solid self with 1 clearance, 1 interception, and 8 recoveries winning 3/5 of his Ground duels and two free-kicks.
Spain v Italy Head-To-Head Results
Croatia 3-5 Spain AET | Euro 2020 – Round of 16
Croatia 3-2 Spain| 2018 UEFA Nations League
Spain 6-0 Croatia | 2018 UEFA Nations League
Croatia v Spain Prediction & Best Bet
Prediction: Croatia 2-1 Spain
Croatia comes into this match as slight underdogs and Modric is continuing to prove that time hasn’t gotten the best of him just yet with another excellent performance against The Netherlands.
Possession-dominant Spain will offer him a very different challenge on Sunday and it will be interesting to see whether he will appear leggy against a strong Spanish midfield.
With that being said I can see them pulling off a minor surprise in this one and overcome Spain, it may take extra time or even penalties though!
Best Bet: To Lift Trophy Croatia @ 6/4
*Prices subject to fluctuation
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