Euro 2024: Spain vs Croatia Preview & Betting Tips

Euro 2024 Spain vs Croatia Preview & Betting Tips

The whole footballing world will be glued to the screens as Spain locks horns with Croatia in a highly anticipated Group A encounter at Euro 2024. Following a period of inconsistency under previous coaches, Spain, under the leadership of Luis de la Fuente, seems to be regaining its mojo. Their Nations League triumph is a testament to this renewed confidence. However, their path to glory won’t be easy.

Standing in their way is a familiar foe – Croatia. Led by the astute Zlatko Dalić, Croatia has established itself as a formidable force in major tournaments. The memories of their heartbreaking Nations League final defeat to Spain, decided by a penalty shootout, will undoubtedly fuel their desire for revenge.

While Spain boasts an attacking force to be reckoned with, spearheaded by the resurgent Alvaro Morata, their defensive vulnerabilities remain a concern. Croatia, known for their tactical prowess under Dalić, will look to exploit these weaknesses and repeat their Nations League heroics.

Spain vs Croatia match can be a tense and tactical battle. Both teams will have to bring their A game if they want to top their Group and go through to the Round of 16.

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Spain Team Preview

SpainSpain heads into their Euro 2024 opener against Croatia with a cloud of uncertainty hanging over them. While they possess the talent to be contenders, recent inconsistencies raise questions about their form.

A two-game winless streak, including a surprise defeat to Colombia and a thrilling draw against Brazil, casts a shadow over Spain’s preparations. The absence of the highly promising Gavi due to injury adds another layer of concern.

Despite the setbacks, Spain has a squad brimming with talent. Manchester City’s Rodri remains their most valuable player, anchoring the midfield with his tactical nous and passing ability. Defensively, the experience of Dani Carvajal and Aymeric Laporte will be crucial in containing Croatia’s attack. Unai Simón is expected to continue as the reliable number-one goalkeeper.

Spain’s success against Croatia will likely depend on controlling the midfield and disrupting Croatia’s playmaking. Historically, Spain’s goals at the Euros have all come from inside the penalty area, highlighting their preference for a patient build-up and attacking threat within close range.

Luis de la Fuente, a manager with no prior playing experience for Spain, takes the helm for this major tournament. His tactics and ability to motivate the team will be under scrutiny, especially against a seasoned Croatian outfit. Overcoming their recent struggles and rediscovering their winning mentality will be key to securing a crucial victory against Croatia and setting the tone for their Euro 2024 campaign.

Predicted XI: Unai Simon; Carvajal, Le Normand, Laporte, Grimaldo; Rodri, Zubimendi, Fabian Ruiz; Yamal, Morata, Olmo.

Croatia Team Preview

CroatiaCroatia enters their Euro 2024 opener against Spain, having a squad brimming with experience and a hunger to prove themselves on the European stage.

Croatia’s strength lies in its experienced veterans. Seven players in their expected starting lineup have over 50 caps, with midfield maestro Luka Modrić taking center stage. Despite approaching his 39th birthday, Modrić remains the creative engine of the team, dictating the tempo and orchestrating attacks. He will be ably supported by fellow midfielders Marcelo Brozović and Mateo Kovačić, forming a formidable trio in the center of the park. Andrej Kramarić is expected to lead the line, providing a clinical edge in attack. The experience of Joško Gvardiol in defense adds another layer of stability.

Croatia’s approach against Spain will likely be centered around disrupting their opponent’s rhythm. Modrić’s experience and passing ability will be crucial in controlling possession and dictating play. The Croatian defense will aim to stay compact and frustrate Spain’s attempts to break them down. They might look to exploit any weaknesses in Spain’s midfield and hit them on the counter-attack, utilizing the pace and dribbling skills of their wingers.

While Croatia has an impressive record at the World Cup, reaching the semi-finals twice in recent years, their European Championship performances haven’t yet matched that success. Despite their experience, Croatia is seen as an underdog against Spain, with a higher chance of progressing from the group stage than winning the entire tournament.

Zlatko Dalić, the mastermind behind Croatia’s recent success, aims to become the first manager to lead them to four consecutive major tournaments. With a veteran squad led by the ever-influential Luka Modrić, Croatia is determined to prove their doubters wrong and make a statement against Spain in their Euro 2024 opener.

Predicted XI:  Livakovic; Juranovic, Vida, Gvardiol, Stanisic; Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic; Perisic, Kramaric, Pasalic.

Spain vs Croatia Betting Odds

Spain 1.84 – 3.60 Draw – 4.65 Croatia (Parimatch)

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Spain vs Croatia Head-to-Head Stats

Spain enters the match with a clear advantage in head-to-head records. They have won six of the ten previous meetings, with Croatia only managing three victories. Their most recent encounter, the Nations League final in June 2023, ended in a dramatic goalless draw, with Spain ultimately prevailing on penalties.

However, recent clashes between these two nations paint a more nuanced picture. While Spain secured a convincing 5-3 victory against Croatia in the 2021 World Cup qualifiers, Croatia emerged victorious in their last competitive meeting prior to the Nations League final, defeating Spain 3-2 in November 2018.

This match will undoubtedly be fueled by a desire for revenge and redemption on both sides. Croatia will be keen to avenge their penalty shootout heartbreak in the Nations League final and reassert themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Spain, on the other hand, will be looking to establish their dominance and secure a crucial victory to kick off their Euro 2024 campaign.

While historical precedence favors Spain, recent contests highlight Croatia’s ability to challenge even the strongest opponents. The outcome of this match will likely depend on which team can overcome their recent struggles and translate their strengths into a winning performance on the pitch.