Spain vs Croatia Preview: La Furia Roja Starts The Campaign for The Second Consecutive European Trophy

Dumitru Palanchuk
Dumitru Palanchuk
8 June 2024, 18:40

The clash between Spain and Croatia is set to take place on June 15, 2024, at the Olympiastadion in Berlin. This match marks the beginning of the group stage for both teams, who find themselves in the challenging Group B alongside Italy and Albania, a group referred to as the group of death. The teams have a storied rivalry, with their most recent competitive meeting being the 2023 UEFA Nations League final, where Spain emerged victorious in a penalty shootout. Historically, their matches have been closely contested, with Spain winning a high-scoring 5-3 encounter in the Euro 2020 Round of 16, which shifted the Spain vs Croatia odds with Spain being the undisputed favourite in the upcoming match. 

Spain Team News

Spain's head coach, Luis de la Fuente, has announced a 29-man preliminary squad for Euro 2024, which will be trimmed to 26 players before the tournament begins. Notable inclusions are Real Madrid defender Nacho, Atletico Madrid midfielder Marcos Llorente, and Barcelona's Pedri and Fermin Lopez. Unfortunately, Barcelona's Gavi is ruled out due to an ACL injury, and Paris Saint-Germain forward Marco Asensio has not been selected. Spain's squad boasts a strong defensive lineup with players like Dani Carvajal, Aymeric Laporte, and Marc Cucurella, who has played a key role in Chelsea's favourable end of the season. In midfield, Rodri and Pedro are expected to play crucial roles, while the forward line includes Alvaro Morata, Dani Olmo, and Ferran Torres. Before getting to the Spain vs Croatia prediction, it should be noted that Spain's recent form has been promising, having topped their qualifying group and secured a Nations League victory under de la Fuente's guidance. 

Croatia Team News

Croatia's recent form has been mixed, with notable victories against Armenia and Latvia but losses to Turkey and Wales in their qualifying campaign. Despite these setbacks, the team remains a formidable opponent, which was highlighted by the team's achievements during the last decade. Having two major finals, one in World Cup 2018 and Nations League 2023, as well as the third place in World Cup 2022 showcased the ability of Blazers to compete on the highest level. Zlatko Dalic, has named a 35-man preliminary squad for Euro 2024, which will be reduced to 26 players by the UEFA deadline. The key players include the eternal Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic, and Marcelo Brozovic, who bring a wealth of experience to the midfield while the defence is bolstered by the presence of Manchester City's Joško Gvardiol and Union Berlin's Josip Juranovic. With the Croatian squad having saved its core players, it is well-expected that Dalic's side will show the same determination as we've seen in the previous championships. 

Spain vs Croatia Prediction

Spain to Win

Spain rightfully emerges as the favourite of the upcoming match, given the team's proportionate blend of experience and youth. Despite all the honours of the Croatian squad, its key midfielders, Luka Modric and Marcelo Brozovic are coming to their last Euro after a tough and demanding season, with their physical form can rightfully be questioned. La Furia Roja, on the contrary, has quite a balanced approach with the team's squad can maintain the intensity notwithstanding the quality. Spain's win can be picked up at MrPlay for 1.75.

Total Goals Spain Over 1.5

Croatian defence lately does not display the best reliability as it heavily depends on Joško Gvardiol, who despite being one of the most promising defenders in Europe, is still only 22 years old. Besides him, the key figure in the defensive lines is Domagoj Vida, who is slowly finishing his career at AEK Athens. In these circumstances, an agile Spanish attack, with Dani Olmo and Alvaro Morata will have a lot of opportunities in front of Croatian net and it is likely that we will see at least 2 goals scored from the nominal home side. This Spain vs Croatia tip can be picked up at 1.81 at MrPlay.

Both Teams to Score

Despite Spain's advantage in attacking prowess, their defensive lines are similarly questionable. La Furia Roja conceded in 4 consecutive matches against different opponents (from Brazil to Cyprus) and while it is not a sign of a protracted crisis, since the match against Brazil was a friendly international, and the last matches of Euro Qualification were just a formality, the alarming signs are still present. Sudden drops of concentration at Spanish defensive lines can become easy prey for Croatians, who are eager to exploit any opportunity presented. The goals from both sides can be picked up at 1.75 at MrPlay.

Remember to gamble responsibly. Tips provided serve only as a recommendation, not as a call to action. Always rely on your own judgement.