Euro 2020: Spain take on World Cup runners up Croatia in Round-16

Spain finally clicked into gear after two draws, but will face its toughest test yet in the round of 16 from Croatia.

The Spain squad will be full of confidence after thrashing Slovakia in their final group stage match, Image credit: Twitter/SeFutbol

Spain will face Croatia in their round-16 matchup of Euro 2020 at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen on Monday. It’ll be the biggest test of the tournament so far for Luis Enrique and his side, but they’ll be high on confidence after a more five-star display in their final group stage game against Slovakia.

After being held to frustrating draws by Sweden and Poland, Spain cut loose and fired five goals past a poor Slovakian side. Luis Enrique made some bold section calls but was rewarded, particularly by Pablo Sarabia who got one of the five goals and looked impressive on the flank. However, the only sour note was a missed penalty for Alvaro Morata but a warm reception when he came off ought to have provided a much-needed boost to his confidence levels.

CONFIDENT SPAIN

There will be temptation for Luis Enrique to name the same XI. However, Croatia will provide a sterner test. Nullifying the talents of Luka Modric will be key to Spain’s chances of progression. Spain have the option of bringing on the energetic midfielder Marcos Llorente to the man-marking job on Modric La Roja will feel if they can contain Modric, they should progress.

On the other side, Zlatko Dalic’s Croatia entered the tournament as dark horses once again. They were expected to build on their surprising run to the World Cup final. However, they lost their stars Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic to retirement.

They looked lost in their opener against England. A similar dull performance was seen against the Czech Republic. Under tremendous pressure, their seniors Modric and Ivan Perisic stepped up to seal their knockout berth against Scotland. Anyway, the group stages are behind them, they will be focusing for a solid run in the knockouts.

PREDICTED STARTING XI:

Spain Predicted XI (4-3-3): Unai Simon; Caesar Azpilicueta, Aymeric Laporte, Eric Garcia, Jordi Alba; Koke, Sergio Busquets, Thiago; Ferran Torres, Alvaro Morata, Gerrard Moreno.

Croatia Predicted XI (4-3-3): Dominik Livakovic; Josip Juranovic, Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida, Josko Gavrdiol; Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic, Mateo Kovacic; Nikola Vlasic, Bruno Petkovic, Ivan Perisic




WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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