Croatia vs Scotland – Context:
This is quite simply a make-or-break game for both teams. Croatia and Scotland have failed to win a single match so far at Euro 2020 and will need to win if they have any hope of going through.
Croatian came into the tournament knowing that they would be without some major hitters with the likes of Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic both retired. Those that have replaced them have so far failed to impress. Ivan Perisic is the singular goalscorer; another ageing member of the group.
Meanwhile, Scotland came in with much hope of getting an opening day victory against the Czech Republic but fell to a 2-0 defeat thanks to a brace from Patrik Schick.
However, their draw against England has opened up an opportunity. A winner takes all scenario where a draw will send both nations home.
Croatia vs Scotland – Head-to-head:
The World Cup finalists of 2018 have never beaten Scotland in all of their attempts across their history. Scotland have 2 wins and 3 draws, a truly impressive run of form.
Their last meeting was in the 2013 World Cup qualifiers for the 2014 competition and despite Scotland winning both ties 0-1 and 2-0, they still failed to make the competition.
Robert Snodgrass and Steven Naismith were the scorers in the last meeting. Croatia will maintain Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida, Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic, whereas Scotland have Grant Hanley still in the side along with David Marshall who was the back-up goalkeeper in 2013.
Croatia vs Scotland – Key battles:
The return of Kieran Tierney against England was an obvious improvement and he was arguably the best man on the pitch at Wembley. Both he and Andrew Robertson the left-hand side will need to be controlled with Atletico Madrid’s Sime Vrsaljko having a huge task to combat the pace and tenacity of the Premier League duo.
Scotland’s biggest worries will come from the passes from midfield of Luka Modric feeding the front three of Perisic, Rebic and most likely Andrej Kramaric. Therefore Tierney will have to remember his defensive responsibilities.
There is a clear lack of a potent goal scorer in the Scottish side and even with the call up of Che Adams, Steve Clarke has been left wanting when chances have gone begging.
Croatia vs Scotland – The subplots:
Croatia will have all the pressure on them to perform. They are seen as a much better group of players than Scotland and will travel again to Hampden Park where only a hostile environment will greet them.
Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic has said that his side will need to do much more to get through and get the win against Scotland.
“We have been given an additional chance to play against Scotland and win this game,” said Dalic.
“We will do our best. For sure, we have to improve in some matters. Today’s opponent ran more than us, We didn’t have freshness and energy, which we need.
“Some of the players are not in the position they need to be. We have to me more aggressive and play a faster game.
“Our goal is to move to the next round but we definitely have to play this third match way better.”
Croatia vs Scotland – Predicted line-ups:
Croatia: Livakovic, Vrsaljko, Vida, Caleta-Car, Gvardiol, Brozovic, Modric, Kovacic, Kramaric, Rebic, Perisic
Scotland: Marshall, McTominay, Hanley, Tierney, O’Donnell, Armstrong, McGregor, McGinn, Robertson, Adams, Dykes
Czech Republic vs England betting tips: Preview, predictions & odds
Croatia vs Scotland betting tips: Preview, predictions & odds
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