Croatia – Spain
We certainly hope you’re ready for some excellent football because another one of the Euro 2020 1/8-finals expect us. That’s the fixture between Croatia and Spain in Copenhagen on Monday. Here are our best football predictions daily for this game. Stay with us!
It was a challenge, but Croatia reached the Euro 2020 1/8-finals after all. For the Blazers it was not the easiest thing to do it because they have won just one point in their first two matches. Then everything came to winning against Scotland in the third game and they did it.
It was a dramatic match between Croatia and Scotland at the Hampden Park. The Scottish team had the support of the stands, but the World Cup finalists achieved a 3-1 win. The legendary Luka Modric inspired the Croats with a goal and an assist while Nikola Vlasic and Ivan Perisic scored as well. For the Blazers it was “all or nothing” kind of situation and they did well.
The Croatian manager Zlatko Dalic knew that he must come out with something new against the Tartan Army. Croatia were not playing well and they didn’t have any other choice – they had to change something. And Dalic did it. He took Andrej Kramaric and Ante Rebic out of the team despite them being among the stars. Dalic picked Bruno Petkovic and Nikola Vlasic instead and it worked. At the same time he brought Marcelo Brozovic back in the starting eleven after putting him on the bench in the game before.
Now it’d be interesting to see if Zlatko Dalic is brave enough to repeat this. You can be sure that Kramaric and Rebic are players who have a lot of supporters in their country. It’s not easy to leave them both out of the team, but it worked well against Scotland. Nikola Vlasic scored one of the goals while Bruno Petkovic moved well on the pitch as well. The head coach has a dilemma here, that’s for sure.
Meanwhile Marcelo Brozovic proved to Zlatko Dalic that he’s needed in the line-up. The Inter Milan man returned in the starting eleven and showed what a hard-working player he is. Brozovic is a very energetic midfielder who doesn’t take it easy on the pitch. Players like Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic are very creative, but at the same time they need someone like Brozovic around them. That’s why we expect to see him in the starting eleven against La Roja on Monday.
What worries Zlatko Dalic at the moment is the shape of his defense. Croatia conceded goals in all of their three matches so far at the Euro. Yes – they never conceded more than one goal, but in the knockout phase even a single goal could be decisive. The return of Dejan Lovren is bringing the Blazers some hopes for a better defensive performance. They are going to need it against Spain.
The Spanish side is having a pretty similar competition to Croatia’s. La Roja also didn’t win neither one of its first two games, but in the third one they finally did their job with a terrific 5-0 win against Slovakia. The Falcons were unlucky enough to score themselves two own goals, while Laporte, Ferran Torres and Sarabia found the net for Spain.
Thhe biggest dilemma for Luis Enrique is what to do with his central forward Alvaro Morata. The Juventus striker received death threats from Spanish fans because of his poor performances at the Euro so far. Morata managed to score one goal in the group stage, but most of his showings in the group stage were completely mediocre. He didn’t do very well in the previous game as well as he missed a penalty kick against Slovakia. The whole Spanish team supported Alvaro Morata in front of the media, but the question is this – is he mentally in a good enough condition to continue playing?
In case Luis Enrique decides to leave Morata out of the team, then most likely he’d move Gerard Moreno in a more central position in the attack. So far Moreno started twice on the right win, but clearly this is not the position he prefers to be on the pitch. He’s a goalscorer and his presence on the flank is not allowing him to show his true abilities. Many Spanish fans right now want to see Gerard Moreno as Spain’s number 9 in the next game. He had an amazing La Liga campaign last season, but so far Enrique is not giving him a chance to play at his natural position in the national team.
Another decision Luis Enrique has to take is regarding the right back position. He used Atletico Madrid’s midfielder Marcos Llorente in this role in the first two games, but in the third one he picked Cesar Azpilicueta. The Chelsea captain made a solid game against Slovakia, so it won’t be surprising if he starts against Croatia as well.
Speaking about defense, we should talk about another interesting decision Luis Enrique took against the Falcons. Surprisingly he left the center-back Pau Torres out of the starting eleven and replaced him with Barcelona’s new signing Eric Garcia. To be honest, we expect to see Pau back in the line-up on Monday as he’s much more experienced than Garcia at this point. Eric Garcia is a very talented defender, but it’d be risky to start him against the Croats.
That’s the best football predictions daily for the Euro 2020 1/8-finals game between Croatia and Spain at the Parken. Two very strong teams will try to reach the 1/4-finals, but only one of them will do it. Both Croatia and Spain were not at their best in majority of the competition so far, but now they have the chance to improve and show their real worth. The bookies believe that Spain are favorites here, but you should remember that they are not at their best right now. The same could be said about the Croatian team as well, though.