• Home
  • Soccer
  • Croatia vs Spain: Familiar foes cross paths in Euro knockout stage

Croatia vs Spain: Familiar foes cross paths in Euro 2020 knockout stage

Spain and Croatia meet for the third consecutive European Championships, with a quarter-final spot on the line.

When: Monday June 28, 17:00 BST

Where: Copenhagen

How to watch: ITV

Best bets

Spain to win and BTTS at 14/5

Ferran Torres to score at 7/4.

Hopes are high for a Copenhagen classic, with both sides bursting into life in their final group games.

Croatia beat Scotland 3-1 to secure second spot in Group D, after losing to England and drawing with the Czech Republic.

Over in Seville, Spain equalled the biggest winning margin in European Championship history, defeating Slovakia 5-0 which meant they ended their Group E campaign unbeaten in second place after draws against Sweden and Poland.

Last three matches

Croatia 3-2 Spain (Nations League - Nov 15, 2018)

There had been little sign of the drama to come as the sides went in at half-time at 0-0, but the match burst into life in the second half.

Adrej Kramaric had put Croatia ahead in the 54th minute, but the lead was short-lived as Dani Ceballos equalised just two minutes later.

Tin Vedvaj headed Croatia back in front in the 69th minute before they were pegged back yet again by a Sergio Ramos penalty with 12 minutes to go.

The game looked to be heading for a draw, but in the last minute Vedvaj popped up at the back post to send the Zagreb crowd into delirium.

Spain 6-0 Croatia (Nations League - Sep 11, 2018)

The reverse fixture was as one-sided as they come, with the Spaniards pummelling the Croats from beginning to end.

Saul Niguez started the party with a towering header in the 24th minute, before Real Madrid's Marco Asensio made it two in the 33rd minute.

Asensio was at it again two minutes later when his superb shot from outside the box hit the bar and ricocheted in off unfortunate Croatia keeper Lovre Kanavic.

Four minutes into the second half, Rodrigo showed the eye for the goal that eventually caught Leeds United's eye, slotting home an Asensio through ball.

And it would get worse for the Croats as Sergio Ramos headed home the fifth after 57 minutes, before Isco joined the party, smashing home a sixth from just inside the area with 20 minutes to go.

Croatia 2-1 Spain (Euro 2016 Group Stage - June 21, 2016)

Both sides had already qualified for the last 16 of Euro 2016 by the time they met in the final Group D game, but top spot was on the line in Bordeaux.

Alvaro Morata poked in a Cesc Febregas cutback in the seventh minute, but that would be as good as it got for Vicente del Bosque's men.

Nikola Kalinic converted an Ivan Perisic cross just before half-time, before Perisic himself scored the winner in the 87th minute, beating David de Gea at his near post with a crisp strike.

International head-to-head

Croatia wins: 3

Draws: 1

Croatia goals: 9

Spain goals: 15

Spain hit top gear at the right time

Spain's victory over Slovakia was a real statement of intent, with the performances of returning captain Sergio Busquets and PSG's Pablo Sarabia, in particular, grabbing the headlines.

The question now is whether Spain can maintain that level of form against a seasoned Croatia side who themselves secured a morale-boosting victory last time out.

We reckon Spain have found a blueprint for success which could take them deep into this tournament, and the extra quality throughout their ranks should see them through against Croatia.

Majestic Modric the Croatia talisman once again

Luka Modric's sublime strike against Scotland means he is now Croatia's oldest and youngest-ever goalscorer, and the Real Madrid man is as valuable as ever to the Croats.

Not that Modric is their only threat, with Ivan Perisic and Nikola Vlasic also finding the net against the Scots.

Perisic, however, has since tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the clash, delivering a huge blow to Croat hopes.

Spain, meanwhile, look to be peaking at just the right time. While we expect Croatia to find the net we like the look of Spain to win and both teams to score, at around 11/4.

Goalscorer bets

Spain's Ferran Torres

After tipping him to score last time out, Ferran Torres did the business for us against Slovakia and we're happy to roll the dice on him finding the net again at 7/4.

His backheel within a minute of coming on against Slovakia would certainly have caught the eye of his coach, and Torres has now scored five goals in his last eight appearances for Spain.

More Articles