England’s victory in Spain has thrown Group A4 of the Nations League wide open, and now La Roja face a tough trip to Croatia. The Blazers were of course the beaten World Cup finalists, and a win for the home team would really shake things up in the section.
Where and when: Stadion Maksimir – 15 November, kick-off 19:45
Where you can see Croatia vs. Spain: Sky Sports, William Hill live streaming
Last time: Spain thrashed Croatia 6-0 in their first Nations League meeting in September, with six different scorers on target for La Roja.
Croatia v Spain Predictions and Preview
Croatia may have been taught a lesson by Spain just a couple of months ago, but this game should be very different. The Blazers were in a bit of a lull after their World Cup exploits, while La Roja were full of optimism after Luis Enrique’s appointment. They also had home advantage.
This time round, it’s Spain who come into the game on a bit of a downer, after falling to a surprise defeat at home to England last month. Enrique’s side recovered from going 3-0 down to give the score a more respectable 3-2 gloss, but they were never really in with a shot of a result as Sergio Ramos scored his team’s second in the 97th minute.
Croatia meanwhile stuttered somewhat to a 2-1 friendly victory at home to Jordan – their first since the World Cup semi-finals – which came a few days after their goalless draw against England in their behind closed doors Nations League tie. Zlatko Dalic will expect his players to be at the races for this game, as there’s now the distinct prospect of relegation which would be an embarrassment after their wonderful performances in Russia.
|Modric to score first||12/1||Offer|
|Spain to win 3-2||25/1||Offer|
|Spain to win and BTTS||18/5||Offer|
The home team are 53/20 for the win, which would draw them level on points with England, with both teams having played three games. Spain are currently on six points after three games, with La Roja 6/5 favourites to pick up the three points. The draw’s available at 37/15, and that’d probably be welcome for the visitors considering the points they already have in the bag, and Croatia’s trip to Wembley on Sunday.
This game could be a cracker if these two countries’ big players turn up. Familiar faces including FIFA’s player of the year Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Ivan Perisic will line up for the hosts, while the likes of Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets, Isco and a rejuvenated Alvaro Morata should all turn out for the away team.
One to watch for Croatia: Luka Modric is favourite to pick up the Ballon d’Or next month, and the Real Madrid playmaker is 12/1 to score first here.
One to watch for Spain: Alvaro Morata has rediscovered his scoring touch for Chelsea, and he’s 11/2 to break the deadlock on Thursday.
Long shot: Spain put six past Croatia last time out, but the hosts should be much improved in front of their own fans. The visitors are still favourites though, with a 3-2 Spanish victory priced at 25/1.