It’s time for another exciting match from the Euro 2020 1/8-finals because Croatia is facing Spain at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen. Just as always here’s our moment to present you our best online free soccer predictions for this clash. Here we go!
Croatia came to the Euro with a brilliant reputation after what they did in the 2018 World Cup. Yes – they reached the knockout phase of the Euro, but at the same time they hardly impressed with their performances. The Blazers did good during their decisive 3-1 win over Scotland, but in the two matches before they were shadows of themselves and won just one point.
It’s pretty obvious what Croatia’s problem is right now. The manager Zlatko Dalic still uses the core of players which reached the World Cup final in 2018. Except of the retired Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic, most of the main players are the same. This means that the team is older now – three years older. This leads to some problems for Dalic.
The decisive moment for Croatia in Group D was the 3-1 win over Scotland. These three points qualified the Blazers for the 1/8-finals. The captain Luka Modric made a masterful performance as he scored one of the goals and assisted for another. Meanwhile Nikola Vlasic and Ivan Perisic scored for the Balkan side as well. This is exactly the type of performance Croatia needs to eventually beat Spain and qualify for the 1/4-finals. They are approaching this fixture as underdogs, though.
The head coach Zlatko Dalic made some important changes for the game against Scotland. He decided to leave the two forwards Andrej Kramaric and Ante Rebic on the bench, picking Nikola Vlasic and Bruno Petkovic instead. He also returned Marcelo Brozovic back to the line-up after starting without him against the Czech Republic. These decisions made by Dalic worked and Croatia made their best game so far in the competition.
The Blazers will need more against Spain, though. La Roja scored five goals in their last game, so now they are full of confidence. This means that Dalic must give a really good pep talk to his players while figures like Domagoj Vida, Dejan Lovren, Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic must show why they are the big leaders in the dressing room. Their performance will be key for eventually eliminating Spain.
Just how we said, Spain reached the 1/8-finals of the competition after a fantastic 5-0 win against Slovakia at the La Cartuja. The Falcons scored themselves two own goals, while Aymeric Laporte, Ferran Torres and Pablo Sarabia scored for La Roja as well. For a first time this summer Spain showed some inspiring performance which gives them better hope for the knockout phase. Luis Enrique’s team was poor in its first two matches, so many pundits and fans started to doubt this team’s chances. Now things are looking a little bit better, that’s for sure.
Just like always, Luis Enrique took some curious decisions against Slovakia. He left Pau Torres, Marcos Llorente and Rodri on the bench, deciding to start with Eric Garcia, Cesar Azpilicueta and Sergio Busquets instead. In the attacking phase he sticked with Alvaro Morata and Gerardo Moreno while he also chose Pablo Sarabia instead of Ferran Torres and Dani Olmo. Enrique changes the line-up every game, so clearly he’s still looking for the best possible XI of his team.
Times are hard for Spain’s striker Alvaro Morata. He started in all three matches in the group stage, but scored just one goal so far. Like we said – he also missed a penalty kick against Slovakia. Many fans are not shy of criticising the Juventus striker, but so far Luis Enrique is not taking him off the starting eleven. He could do that, though. One of the options Enrique has is putting Gerard Moreno at the top of the attack. Moreno scored more goals than Morata last season, and many people believe he’s a better choice for leading Spain’s attack. One thing is for sure – Alvaro Morata is in a difficult mental state right now because things are not happening well for him.
Luis Enrique must decide what to do with his defense, too. Pau Torres and Marcos Llorente were taken off the team against Slovakia and replaced by Eric Garcia and Cesar Azpilicueta. Aymeric Laporte and Jordi Alba look untouchable in the line-up, but now the coach must decide if he’s going to keep the same back four from the last game. The return of Azpilicueta was good news for many Spanish fans who believe he’s a better choice for the right back position compared to Marcos Llorente.
The return of Sergio Busquets is one of the best news for Spain, too. The team’s captain had to miss the first two matches because of COVID-19, but he started the game against Slovakia. The Barcelona man knows how to dictate the game in midfield and how to distribute the ball between the defenders and the attackers. He’s one of the key men in Luis Enrique’s team, so you can be sure Busquets will be starting Spain’s remaining games in the competition. Which is bad news for Rodri because he plays in Busquets’ position and this is not giving them much of a chance to play right now.
Meanwhile Pedri remains a surprising starter in La Roja’s team. The Barcelona midfielder is just 18-years old, but this is not stopping Enrique from giving him chances to play. Pedri started all of Spain’s matches in the competition so far. He’s a future star for sure
That’s our best online free soccer predictions for the Euro 2020 1/8-finals fixture between Croatia and Spain. Two huge teams are facing each other, but at the same time they are teams which made some questionable performances so far. Now the goal is reaching the 1/4-finals and there’s no room for stepping back. Only one of these two teams will go through.