Croatia vs Spain Nations League Predictions

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By user:James Morton
Croatia vs Spain Nations League

Thursday November 15th, 19:45

Group leaders Spain travel to Zagreb to take on Croatia in the Nations League on Thursday evening, with the visitors knowing that a victory will ensure they finish top of League A Group 4.

Predictions

Despite a surprise 3-2 defeat to England in Sevilla last time out, Spain remain in pole position to win Group 4 of League A having amassed six points from their first three fixtures.

Luis Enrique’s team will head to Zagreb full of confidence having hammered Croatia 6-0 in the reverse fixture in Elche back in September.

The loss to England last month was their first since a disastrous World Cup campaign where La Roja were knocked out by hosts Russia in the round of 16.

Croatia may have reached the World Cup final less than five months ago but Vatreni have been unable to replicate that form since, with a narrow friendly win over minnows Jordan their only success since.

But Zlatko Dalic’s side will be hoping their excellent record on home turf continues, with the Croats having not lost in their own country since way back in October 2013.

It will be interesting to see how Spain react to being stunned in Sevilla in October and, with the Stadion Maksimir like a fortress for Croatia, it should be a tight encounter in Zagreb.

Betting Tips

Spain have been in fine goalscoring fettle since Luis Enrique took the helm after the debacle of the World Cup. La Roja have netted 14 goals in four matches and haven’t failed to score in a match since they exited Euro 2016. However, their defensive weaknesses were exposed by England last month and Croatia – who need a result on Thursday – have a good scoring record at home.

Spain have made quick starts in all of their recent matches, finding the back of the net early against England at Wembley and against Wales in Cardiff. Enrique’s charges were also three up at half-time in the reverse fixture with Croatia. And the Spanish even started quickly against the English last month, but the visitors had goalkeeper Jordan Pickford to thank for not falling behind quickly.

Statistics

Head to Head

Croatia and Spain have met on seven occasions since the former declared their independence, with the Spanish winning on four occasions and the Croats twice. Vatreni last beat Spain at Euro 2016 thanks to goals from Nikola Kalinic and Ivan Perisic. La Roja thrashed Dalic’s men 6-0 earlier this year with Isco and Marco Asensio among the goals.

Stats

  • Spain’s Marco Asensio has five assists in the Nations League – more than any other player.
  • Sergio Ramos has completed more passes than any other player in the Nations League with 306 – eight more than Azerbaijan’s Richard Almeida.
  • Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic will win his 50th cap for Croatia if he is selected to play against La Roja.
  • Ivan Perisic will overtake Darijo Srna and become Croatia’s outright fourth-highest scorer of all time if he finds the back of the net against Spain.
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