Croatia are set to host Sweden at the Stadion Maksimir on Sunday in an interesting UEFA Nations League fixture.
Croatia come into this game on the back of a 2-1 win over Switzerland on Thursday at the Kybunpark. Dinamo Zagreb forward Mario Gavranovic put Switzerland ahead in the first half, but goals from Wolfsburg winger Josip Brekalo and Atalanta midfielder Mario Pasalic ensured victory for Zlatko Dalic's side.
Sweden, on the other hand, beat Russia 2-1 on Thursday at the VEB Arena. Goals from Real Sociedad striker Alexander Isak and Genclerbirligi right-back Mattias Johansson secured the win for Sweden. Spartak Moscow striker Aleksandr Sobolev scored the only goal for Russia, in his debut appearance for the country.
Croatia vs Sweden Head-to-Head
In four head-to-head encounters between the two sides, Croatia hold the clear advantage. They have won three games and lost once.
They last faced each other way back in 2012, with Sweden beating Croatia 3-1. A brace from Sunderland midfielder Sebastian Larsson and a goal from striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic sealed the win for Sweden. A Jonas Olsson own goal proved to be scant consolation for Croatia.
Croatia form guide: D-W-L-L-W
Sweden form guide: W-W-L-L-W
Croatia vs Sweden Team News
Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic will be without Atletico Madrid right-back Sime Vrsaljko and AC Milan forward Ante Rebic, with both players out injured.
There could be potential debuts for Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Ivo Grbic and PAOK attacker Antonio Colak. Lille full-back Domagoj Bradaric and Osasuna striker Ante Budimir made their debuts against Switzerland.
Injured: Sime Vrsaljko, Ante Rebic
Meanwhile, Sweden have no known injury issues and have named a strong squad, including Juventus midfielder Dejan Kulusevski, Manchester United centre-back Victor Lindelof and RB Leipzig winger Emil Forsberg. Seattle Sounders midfielder Gustav Svensson is suspended.
Suspended: Gustav Svensson
Croatia vs Sweden Predicted XI
Croatia Predicted XI (4-3-3): Dominik Livakovic, Domagoj Bradaric, Domagoj Vida, Dejan Lovren, Dario Melnjak, Marcelo Brozovic, Mateo Kovacic, Luka Modric, Josip Brekalo, Andrej Kramaric, Ivan Perisic
Sweden Predicted XI (4-4-2): Robin Olsen, Mikael Lustig, Victor Lindelof, Pontus Jansson, Pierre Bengtsson, Emil Forsberg, Albin Ekdal, Kristoffer Olsson, Viktor Claesson, Alexander Isak, Marcus Berg
Croatia vs Sweden Prediction
Croatia have a strong squad, despite the retirement of midfielder Ivan Rakitic. Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic and Real Madrid star Luka Modric have begun the season well, as has Hoffenheim striker Andrej Kramaric.
Sweden, on the other hand, have named an experienced squad including the likes of veteran midfielder Sebastian Larsson and striker Marcus Berg. Youngsters like Alexander Isak and Kulusevski could be given a chance, and will have to be at their very best to trouble Croatia.
Both teams look good on paper, but Croatia should have enough firepower to edge past Sweden.
Prediction: Croatia 2-1 Sweden
Published 09 Oct 2020, 12:12 IST