The Euro 2020 action continues Monday as we enter the final week of June. The tournament’s knockout stages are now in full swing, with teams leaving the comfort of the group stages behind to concentrate on the drama of knockout football. In this article, we focus on the Round of 16 match involving Croatia and Spain scheduled for a 17:00 GMT kick-off.
These teams have met eight times previously, and there’s little between the sides in the head-to-head stats. Spain boasts four wins with Croatia on three and the spare match ending in a draw. The most recent clash came in 2018 and produced a stunning 3-2 victory for the Croatians on Nations League duty, but that came after Spain had hammered them 6-0 two months previous. The winner of this game will progress to the quarter-finals with extra time and penalties available if needed.
Croatia sneak through
Croatia came through Group D behind pool winners England and head of the Czech Republic, with Scotland at the bottom of the pile. They lost their opening game at Wembley and managed only a draw on matchday two with the Czech Republic at Hampden. With their fate hanging in the balance, Croatia stormed to a stunning 3-1 win in their final game, beating Scotland and knocking Steve Clarke’s team out of the running. The three goals were enough to see them end as runners-up thanks to the goals scored advantage.
It’s fair to say Croatia weren’t as impressive as fans would have liked during the group stages. They scored just one goal in their first two games and picked up just one point. They needed a big result against Scotland but went into the break tied at 1-1. An important goal scored by Modric gave them the lead before Croatia went on to put the game to bet. The 3-1 scoreline flattered the winners a little, but they got the job done.
Spain finish as runners up
No team has won more European championships than Spain, but many pundits wrote them off during the build-up to Euro 2020. The likes of France, England and Belgium were preferred, but this famous team pays no attention to their critics or the expectations of others. They came through Group E as runners-up on five points behind Sweden and ahead of Slovakia.
Despite being hot favorites to win the pool, Spain drew their opening two games before a winning finish pushed them through to the next round. Despite bagging just five of the nine points available to them, Spain scored six goals and conceded only one. They barely got out of first gear, but fans will demand more from the team in the knockout rounds.
Croatia v Spain prediction
Two sides that failed to win their groups but two who will see this as a great chance to reach the quarter-final. Spain are the favorites with most pundits, but they must show improvement from what we have seen from them so far.
Euro 2020 odds
The pre-match betting on this game at 22Bet has Croatia priced at 6.5 with Spain 1.592 and the draw 3.68.
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