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Euro 2024: Spain vs Croatia Preview, Prediction & Betting Picks

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Euro 2024: Spain vs Croatia Preview, Prediction & Betting Picks

Spain take on Croatia in the opening fixture of Group B at Euro 2024. Both teams will expect to go far in the competition.

Date: 6/15/24

Kick-off time: 9 am Pacific Time

Venue: Olympiastadion Berlin

A difficult fixture awaits both sides as Spain and Croatia face off to start their Euro campaigns. Spain will be looking to win their fourth title, with their last coming in 2012, the second of two consecutive victories. In Euro 2020, they finished in third place, losing to eventual champions Italy on penalties in the semi-final. They qualified for this summer’s tournament comfortably, finishing top of their group with seven wins from eight. Alongside Croatia, they will also face Italy and Albania.

Croatia will be hoping to win their first European Championship. They have qualified for every tournament except one, and the furthest they have progressed is the quarter-final in both 1996 and 2008. They finished second in qualifying, behind Turkey and ahead of Wales. They enter this game having won three games in a row, all friendlies, giving them great momentum heading into the tournament and opening game.

The Spaniards also come into this game in good form, with two wins in a row against Andorra and Northern Ireland. They have enjoyed success in front of goal, scoring 13 in their last three. They will be coming up against a defence who has kept four clean sheets in the last six. They have a number of attacking threats up top, including Alvaro Morata, who has scored 15 goals in La Liga for Atletico Madrid this season. Sixteen-year old Barcelona sensation Lamine Yamal will also hope to impress. Croatia will be led by Luka Modric, but could rely on Osasuna striker Ante Budimir, who has scored 17 goals in 33 games for his club.

This will be just the 11th meeting between Spain and Croatia. Unsurprisingly, Spain have enjoyed more success, with six wins to Croatia’s three. The two sides played against each other in the last European Championships in the Round of 16. Spain got the better of their opponents to advance to the quarter-final, winning 5-3 after extra-time in a thrilling match. Croatia went ahead, though Spain turned it around to make it 3-1 heading into the final five minutes. However, goals from Mislav Orsic and Mario Pasalic tied it up, before two quick strikes near the end of the first half of extra-time took the game away for Spain. Since then, they have met in the Nations League, with the game ending in a 0-0 draw.

Team News

Spain Team News

There is plenty of Premier League representation in the Spain squad, including Chelsea defender Marc Cucurella and Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya. Aston Villa defender and Tottenham’s Pedro Porro were left out, however. Barcelona youngster Lamine Yamal will get another chance to impress.


Croatia Team News

There should be no fitness concerns for Croatia heading into the tournament, with everyone available including Luka Modric. Premier League stars Mateo Kovacic and Josko Gvardiol have been named in the squad.

Form Guide

Spain Form Guide

In their last five games, Spain have won three, drawn one and lost one. It has been a good stretch for Spain, as they ended their qualification campaign in strong fashion. The first game of this run was a victory, as they beat Georgia 3-1 at home in the final fixture of qualifying. They took a quick lead through Robin Le Normand. However, this was soon cancelled out by Napoli’s Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. Spain retook the lead with a goal from Ferran Torres, before they added an insurance with an own goal.

With qualifying complete, they played two friendlies. The first was against Colombia, but they lost 1-0. It was a fairly even game throughout in terms of possession and shot attempts, though Spain edged both categories. However, it was their opponents who took their chance, with Daniel Munoz scoring the only goal of the game. They then played a thrilling 3-3 draw with Brazil. Rodri put them ahead from the penalty spot, and Dani Olmo doubled their advantage. Rodrygo pulled one back before the break. The equaliser came shortly after the restart through Endrick. Spain thought they snatched victory with another Rodri spot kick, but Lucas Paqueta converted a penalty deep into stoppage time.

A 5-0 win over Andorra followed, as they enjoyed a whopping 84% possession. Ayoze Perez opened the scoring before Mikel Oyarzabal bagged a hat-trick. Torres completed the scoring late on. Their most recent game was a home friendly against Northern Ireland, in which they won 4-1. They fell behind early to a Daniel Ballard goal, but quickly turned it around through Pedri (x2), Alvaro Morata, Fabian Ruiz and Oyarzabal.

Croatia Form Guide

In their last five games, Croatia have won four and drawn one. It has been an excellent stretch for Croatia as they prepare for the upcoming European Championships. This run started with a 1-0 win over Armenia as they ended their qualifying campaign. Osasuna striker Ante Budimir scored on the stroke of half-time, and this was the only goal of the game as they dominated in both shot attempts and possession. This result helped them to a second place finish.

During the last international break, they faced Tunisia and Egypt in friendlies. The first against Tunisia ended in a 0-0 draw, but went to penalties. Croatia prevailed 5-4 in the shootout. Their most recent game was a 4-2 win at Egypt. Ramy Rabia put the Egyptians ahead early, but four unanswered from Nikola Vlasic, Bruno Petkovic, Andrej Kramaric and Lovro Majer gave Croatia a convincing lead. Mohamed Abdelmonem pulled one back in stoppage time.

A second win in a row followed, as they comfortably beat North Macedonia 3-0. They could not create many opportunities, but scored their three goals from four shots on target. Majer scored a brace in the first half, before Mario Pasalic completed the scoring with the third. Their most recent game was an away friendly at Portugal, in which they won 2-1. Luka Modric put them ahead from the spot after eight minutes, but Diogo Jota equalised shortly into the second half. Budimir scored the winner soon after.

FlashPicks Prediction

Spain come into this tournament with great expectations to go far. Croatia will hope to give them a tough start, but the quality of the Spaniards should prevail – Spain 2-1 Croatia

Header logoEuropean Championship - Group B

PosClubPWDLGDPTS
1
Team logoSpain
3300+59
2
Team logoItaly
311104
3
Team logoCroatia
3021-32
Last updated 25/06/2024

Header logoEuropean Championship - Group B

PosClubPWDLGDPTS
2
Team logoItaly
311104
3
Team logoCroatia
3021-32
4
Team logoAlbania
3012-21
Last updated 25/06/2024

Where to watch Spain vs Croatia

Spain vs Croatia will be available to watch on FOX and ViX

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