On Thursday, World Cup Finalist Croatia will lock horns with Spain just over two months after Spain crushed Croatia 6-0 on that day.
Spain is coming off a loss to England and it holds a two-point lead in the group, and a win here could all but wrap up the group for Luis Enrique’s team. Enrique did some fewer changes in the team with defenders Nacho and Marcos no longer in the line-up, while mid-fielders Koke and Thiago have also been shown on the bench. It’s been almost all positives since they left the World Cup, except the loss at home to England last month. The 2-3 defeat marked the first time they have tasted it under Enrique, and it means that the group is wide open and for the taking if they are unable to get anything from this match.
While for Croatia, it is a must-win situation. Since reaching the World Cup final in Russia, Croatia has had a bit of a rude awakening, especially in this newly formed competition. Zlatko Dalić’s men were embarrassed by the Spaniards in the reverse fixture, as they lost by 6 goals to nil, while they could only manage a point against England on home soil after that. This time around, the Croats will be hoping to deliver an improved performance.
Kalinic (GK); Jedvaj, Vida, Pivaric, Lovren (Defenders); Modric, Rakitic, Kovacic (Mid-fielders), Kramaric, Perisic, Rebic (Forwards)
de Gea (GK); Azpilicueta, Nacho, Ramos, Alba (Defenders); Isco, Busquets, Saul (Midfielders); Aspas, Asensio, Rodrigo (Forwards)
My PlayerzPot XI:
Spain is definitely reinvigorated and they can crush Croatia but you can’t expect to score a six again.