By 90Min
November 14, 2018

Spain travel to Croatia to play their final UEFA Nations League group game, with both sides having a lot to play for. A win would secure qualification for Spain, whilst a win for Croatia would mean they have a chance to secure qualification when they played England on Sunday.

Croatia will be looking for retribution following their shock 6-0 defeat in the reverse fixture. Spain will want to prove they are strong tournament favourites following their setback against England after starting with two convincing performances in their first two games.

Denis Doyle/GettyImages

Check out 90min's preview for the Nations League clash below.


How to Watch

When Is Kick Off?                                             Thursday 15th November                               
What Time Is Kick Off? 19:45 (GMT)
Where Is it Played? Stadion Maksimir
TV Channel/Live Stream? Sky Sports
Referee? Aleksei Kulbakov


Team News

Croatia are without left backs Marin Leovac and Borna Sosa, with Josip Pivaric doubtful so Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic will have to improvise at left back. 


Borna Barisic and Ivan Strinic are also out though injury. However, Sime Vrsaljko is back fit and in the squad and may play a part. Mario Mandzukic, Danijel Subasic and Vedran Corluka have retired from international football following the World Cup, so Ante Rebic is likely to start up front and goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic will likely replace Subasic.

TF-Images/GettyImages

Spain welcome back Jordi Alba to the squad as he looks set to start at left back but fellow wing-back Dani Carvajal is missing through injury. 

Atletico Madrid's Koke and Diego Costa are missing through injury as is midfielder Thiago Alcantara. Sergio Ramos will likely partner Inigo Martinez, as Nacho is also out injured.


Predicted Line Ups

Croatia Kalinic, M. Mitrovic, Vida, Lovren, Vrsaljko, Brozovic, Rakitic, Modric, Kramaric, Perisic, Rebic.
Spain De Gea, Alba, Ramos, I. Martinez, Azpilicueta, Busquets, Saul, Isco, Asensio, Aspas, Rodrigo.

Head to Head Record

In their previous UEFA Nations League meeting just over a month ago Spain shocked the World Cup finalists winning 6-0 and Croatia will be looking for revenge at home. Not yet eliminated from potential Nations League semi final qualification, Croatia have plenty to play for.

The countries have played seven games over their history, only three of which have come in competitive fixtures with Spain winning two, and Croatia winning one. Spain's friendly record slightly surpasses Croatia's too, with two wins and a draw. 


Recent Form

Croatia's form has taken a slight turn for the worse since their remarkable World Cup run. The side have lost one and drawn one of their Nations League fixtures so far, with two friendly results against Jordan and Portugal resulting in a win and a draw.

Denis Doyle/GettyImages

Spain, on the other hand, had a relatively poor World Cup by their high standards, but bounced back with their thrashing of Croatia. They also won away against both England and Wales. However, the home side were beaten at home by England, which may have dented their confidence slightly.

Here's how each team has performed in their last five fixtures:

Croatia Spain
Croatia 2-1 Jordan (15/10) Spain 2-3 England (15/10)
Croatia 0-0 England (12/10) Wales 1-4 Spain (11/10)
Spain 6-0 Croatia (11/09) Spain 6-0 Croatia (11/09)
Portugal 1-1 Croatia (06/09) England 1-2 Spain (08/09)
Croatia 2-4 France (15/07) Spain 1-1 Russia (01/07)


Prediction

Croatia's form has been wavering of late, but they have ato play for and owe their fans a performance after their shock defeat just over a month ago. Spain only need a point to have a chance of qualification but a win would seal it. 

Croatia Training Session

Both sides are missing some key defensive players, and also have relatively young and untested attacks. It will likely be a battle of the midfield masters, with both sides exceptionally well matched.

Prediction: Croatia 2-2 Spain

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