Euro 2016: Croatia vs Spain- Live stream info, probable line-up, head to head(h2h) record and match preview
Croatia take on Spain on Wednesday in a Group D encounter at the Stade de Bordeaux, with both teams in a comfortable situation, occupying 2nd and 1st positions in the group respectively. Only defeat for Croatia and victory for the Czech Republic over Turkey with a suitable swing in goal difference will see the Croats drop into 3rd place.
Spain have been a joy to watch thus far in the UEFA Euro 2016. Their 3-0 dismantling of Turkey displayed passing and movement of the very highest calibre. La Roja will be looking to continue their good run of form and ensure top spot in the group which shall pit them against one of the best 3rd position teams, from groups B/E/F. Potential opponents in the round of 16 could be Slovakia, Sweden/Republic of Ireland and Iceland.
For the Croats, it has been a decent start to the tournament thus far. A stunning volley from Luka Modric saw them earn a well-deserved victory over Turkey in their opening round-robin fixture. However, careless defending and complacency saw them throw away a 2 goal lead against the Czech Republic to draw 2-2 in their 2nd match. Hence, victory is necessary for Ante Cacic’s side to emerge as winners of the group. However, a draw or even defeat by a narrow margin will see them through to the next round as runners-up. The runners up of group D will face Italy in all probability and that might not be a very exciting prospect, given the current form of the Azzurri.
This should be a lip-smacking encounter of football, given the quality of the midfield on both sides. With Modric and Rakitic on one side and Iniesta and Busquets on the other, expect this to be a titanic struggle for domination in the middle of the park. Iniesta, in particular, has been in sublime form in Euro 2016 and the Croatian defence will have a nervy time trying to deal with him. Spain’s defence has not been put under the hammer yet, having barely been tested in their previous 2 matches. Expect that to change, as Croatia possess significant fire power up front thanks to Mario Mandzukic. With Italy looming on the horizon for whoever finishes 2nd in this group, expect both teams to go all out in pursuit of victory.
The match will be live from 00:30 IST (Wednesday), 20:00 BST (Tuesday). Watch live streaming of Croatia vs Spain on SonyLIV. Follow Croatia vs Spain, Euro 2016 Live Score and Commentary with Sportskeeda. The match will be telecasted live on Sony Six and Sony Six HD in India, Fox Sports in the USA and Premier Sports in the UK. The match will be played at the Stade de Bordeaux in Bordeaux.
Luka Modric left the field against the Czech Republic, in visible discomfort. The Croatian playmaker appears to have suffered a groin injury and is unlikely to be fit enough to square off against his La Liga compatriots. Modric will probably be replaced by Kovacic in the line-up. Vedran Corluka needed stitches after a clash of heads in the match against the Czech Republic and he too is a doubt for this fixture. Spain do not have any injuries to report and Vicente Del Bosque will have all 23 players available for selection.
Croatia: Subasic, Srna, Jedvaj, Vida, Strinic, Badelj, Kovacic, Brozovic, Rakitic, Perisic, Mandzukic
Spain: De Gea, Juanfran, Sergio Ramos, Pique, Alba, Busquets, Koke, Iniesta, Lucas Vazquez, Morata, Nolito
Form guide (all games, most recent first)
Spain have lost only one of their last five fixtures, winning all the others.
Croatia have not lost any of their last five fixtures, registering three wins and one draw, while one of their games was cancelled.
Head to Head:
In 5 previous meetings between Spain and Croatia, Spain have won thrice and Croatia just once, with one match having ended in a stalemate. Their only clash in a major tournament was at Euro 2012, where Spain triumphed 1-0. Their first encounter in 1994 was won by Croatia and this will be only their 6th meeting.
With top spot and a round of 16 fixture against a third place team up for grabs, expect both teams to aim for the jugular from the outset. Modric’s absence will hit Croatia hard, since he was in scintillating form in the first 2 matches. While Kovacic is a decent replacement, he will not bring Modric’s ability to dictate the pace of the game from midfield.
Iniesta has once again dazzled on the big stage and should he not be rested by Vicente Del Bosque, fans can expect another stellar showing from El Cerebro. Expect an open game with plenty of chances. Spain’s form and confidence, coupled with the absence of Modric has us angling towards a 2-0 Spain victory.