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Croatia v Spain preview: Vicente del Bosque aiming to top Group D with perfect record

By Ben Nagle

Last Updated: 21/06/16 8:00pm

After providing the performance of the tournament so far, Spain will hope to confirm their place as Group D winners against Croatia.

Tuesday night sees the conclusion of Spain’s European Championship group, and they need just a point against second-placed Croatia in Bordeaux to stop their rivals overtaking them at the top.

Spain eased past Turkey 3-0 in the tournament’s joint highest-scoring fixture so far, and looked impressive doing so as Alvaro Morata knocked two past Volkan Babacan.

Vicente Del Bosque’s side beat Czech Republic 1-0 in their opening fixture, but now have arguably the toughest opponent remaining in their group.

Croatia currently sit second with four points, but will be desperate to get something against Spain, knowing they could slip to third place and away from the automatic qualification spots.

That said, it is very unlikely that Croatia would fail to qualify even if they lose to Spain, with four third-placed teams also heading through.

Albania finished third in Group A with three points, and should Croatia end their group stage campaign with four in third place, they would need just one more third-placed team with fewer than four points in order to advance.

Doing their best to make Croatia’s route to the last 16 as difficult as possible though, are Del Bosque and his players. The Spain manager has been pleased with his side’s performances so far, but was quick to insist there is a long way to go.

“We achieved our first goal which was to qualify for the knockout stages,” he told reporters after Spain’s 3-0 victory over Turkey. “We had a good game that we controlled for 90 minutes.

“It has been difficult for us to score so far, but tonight we scored three goals. We must now turn to the third and final Group D match against Croatia.”

Spain are many people’s favourites to win the entire tournament, but David Silva says the team are taking that title in their stride.

“At this stage, it is normal that they make you favourites,” he said. “We have won the last two European Championships and also the games in the past few days.

“But we need to keep our feet on the ground. We are calm and need to continue that way.”

Team news

Despite telling a Spanish TV channel that dropping Iker Casillas was the most painful decision he has ever had to make as Spain coach, Del Bosque is set to continue with David de Gea for the final group game.

The biggest worry comes in the form of Luka Modric, the Croatia midfielder familiar to many of the Spain squad who are team-mates or opponents of his at club level.

Modric is nursing a groin injury, and team doctor Boris Nemec said on Saturday: “Modric’s groin is strained and swollen. He will train at less than full intensity in the next few days and is very unlikely to be available for the Spain match.”

When one Real Madrid midfielder drops out though, another comes in, with Mateo Kovacic the likely man to replace him. The Liverpool target played half an hour against Czech Republic on Friday, but is now set to start against Spain.

Vedran Corluka is another player doubtful for Croatia after being forced to wear a head cap in the previous match. He sustained a head wound against Turkey and after having the stitches removed, was forced to take preventative measures against the Czechs.

Spain have Sergio Ramos one yellow card away from a suspension, while Croatia have four men – Milan Badelj, Marcelo Brozovic, Ivan Strinic and Domagoj Vida – risking a second booking of the tournament.

Who could be suspended?

Find out which players are just one game away from missing their country’s first knockout match.

Paul Merson’s prediction

“With 60 minutes gone against Czech Republic, Croatia were cruising and looking like potential winners of the tournament. Then the crowd got silly, started throwing stuff on the pitch and delayed the game – and before you know it, the score is 2-2 and they look like being one of the also-rans.

“Luka Modric surely won’t be risked and Croatia aren’t the same without him. They should get through, but I can see Spain winning this game.”

PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 to Spain

Opta stats

This will be the sixth meeting between Spain and Croatia; Spain have won three of the previous five meetings, while Croatia have won just once (D1).

Croatia’s victory against Spain came in their first ever meeting in 1994 (2-0), since then they have managed just two goals in four games against La Roja (L3 D1).

Spain and Croatia met in the last edition of the Euros in 2012, their only clash in a major tournament, with Spain claiming a 1-0 victory thanks to an 88th minute winner from Jesus Navas.

Croatia have reached the knockout stages of the European Championships in 50% of their previous participations (2/4): in 1996 and 2008.

Croatia have only failed to score once in their last 11 games in the European Championships, against Spain in 2012.

Spain are unbeaten in 14 games at the Euros (W11 D3), and haven’t conceded a goal in 690 minutes of action.

Spain have scored in each of their last eight group games at the Euros, last failing to find the net in 2004, in a 1-0 defeat to Portugal.

Croatia have had 20 more shots than their opponents over their first two games at Euro 2016 but have only scored one more goal.


Joint outright favourites Spain are 19/20 with Sky Bet to wrap up top spot by making it three wins from three, with Croatia the 7/2 outsiders while a draw is priced at 21/10.

Morata and Aritz Aduriz share favouritism in the first goalscorer betting at 4/1 apiece with the former currently heading the Golden Boot market at 9/2, while Mario Mandzukic is considered the main Croatian threat at 13/2. The Soccer Saturday pundits and Jamie Redknapp have made their predictions, including Matt Le Tissier’s 30/1 fancy for Mandzukic to score first in a 1-1 draw.

Croatia versus Spain

My family is either going to Barcelona and surrounding areas or Croatia for 10 days in late June. Which would be more expensive for stuff like hotels, food, and drink? Many thanks.

This is a strange connection. anyway, you can take a flight from Barcelona to one of the Croatia towns. try also to restrict Croatian area that you’d love to visit, so we could help you better with finding a good hotel, restaurant ecc.

My question was not asked well. What is more expensive for a tourist., Croatia or Barcelona?

I would have thought Barcelona although my early research into Croatia (for us for this summer) is showing it’s not that cheap either!

You can compare hotel prices fast by looking at

Late June/first week in July is still fairly low season in terms of apartment rentals on the Costa Brava (north of barcelona and very beautiful) so maybe it is competitive for that. Supermarkets on the Costa Brava are more expensive than the ones in Barcelona , a “seaside premium” to compensate for the short season I think. No idea about grocery prices in holiday towns in Croatia.

If you want beautiful beaches then Costa Brava is better than Croatia as there are few sandy beaches in Croatia, an awful lot of concrete or swimming off rocks where it’s not pebbly.

How have you come up with these two choices specifically?

I don’t think you want to combine them but just to let you know that only Vueling flies direct to Croatian coast from Barcelona as far as I have been able to find out and prices running at 150€ for late June. Croatian airlines flies via Zagreb to various points on the coast but it’s dearer.

Thanks for the helpful reply.

Sorry to tell you that Dubrovnik is not a bargain town!

It wasn’t Dubrovnik I was looking at, Split/Zadar/Istria hotels and apartments aren’t cheap in August either!

Any idea about food prices in Croatia cp Catalonia as OP asked? From a couple of Croatia trip reports I’ve read it seems meals weren’t really cheap now either. We visited Slovenia briefly in 2005 and it was a bit cheaper than Austria then although not a lot.

My current plan is flying BCN_ Zagreb return and touring, leaving Dubrovnik and area for another trip. I had looked at flying Vueling into Dubrovnik but return wd have to be out of Venice (they don’t fly anywhere else in Croatia, nor to Ljubljana now) but the ferry across from Istria is really expensive even for foot passengers (but international car-hire drop off a lot more).

Flying BCN-Zagreb return is OK price, connecting on eg to Split is a lot more expensive, as is booking a one-way flight.

And we do want to visit Zagreb in any case; we’ll have had our Costa Brava “beach week” so are not going to Croatia for the beaches (although scuba-diving is part of it, for our son).

It’s over a year since we went to the Zadar region of Croatia, and that was just the one trip, altho we’ve been many times to Barcelona and its surrounding area; from the Costa Brava to the Catalan Pyrenees.

Comparison is tricky; Catalonia encompasses such contrast- beach resorts to city culture and snow-capped peaks, but we so loved Croatia that it’s probably our next first choice. We also found it a bit cheaper than Catalonia; although that was maybe because restaurants in Zadar, and especially the islands were such value compared with the Eurozone whose currency had risen against the pound and dollar. Hotels are comparably priced; in fact we thought that unless you buy a package holiday which we aim to avoid, Croatia hotels all seemed massively overpriced; most upwards of 100-150 Euros a night. But then we discovered that private rooms are the norm- easy to book and much cheaper- maybe a quarter the price of hotels; look at my earlier TA post at

Transport is the other consideration; car rental is still a lot cheaper in mainland Spain than most other countries – about 30-40% than in Croatia if you really need a car but you can reduce the differential (and compare) by using a reliable broker like Taxis from (for example) Zadar airport are regulated and cheap in our experience; Croatia ferries are bargains. But Taxis are not exploitative from Barcelona’s airports, buses are cheap and even other Catalan airports like Girona have regular bus service to Barcelona altho’ a car would be great to explore the Costa Brava and its Dali heritage.

Why not toss a coin?

Accommodation in Croatia can be very cheap – we have had a lot of experience with that. We know Istria inside out. Friends in interior Istria have a lovely B&B for about $60 U.S. a nght. The most we have ever spent at an Istrian B&B would be about $70 U.S. Now we have our own house there as we love it so very much! Many places in Croatia increase their prices in August and also have a minimum number of nights (i.e. some of the islands, Dubrovnik). Not so in most of Istria, though.

I cannot compare with Spain as I have not yet been there.

Whatever you decide have a wonderful time!

Barcelona has cheaper hotels for sure, and regarding food, you can manage quite well by eating in small tapas bars. Croatia has slightly cheaper food, but no daily menus like in Cataluna. Say 10-15 Euros average price for a meal for 2 people (except in Dubrovnik.) Croatia is cheaper in this respect.

Drinks are cheaper as well, a beer price and coke average 12-15kn (app. 1,5 Euros-2 Euros, same as coffee price) though you can’t walk in the bar and have tapas and glass of wine like you can do in Spain. Also, close to Barcelona you have lovely Casteldefels with nice beach and restaurants, and up north Cadaques is stunning place to visit, just like a small Saint Tropez. I have staid there many times and had fantastic holidays on the beach. Barcelona also has a night life but it is expensive to park the car in the city 🙂

If you organize hotels in time, you might get good price in Croatia as well. It would be nice if you could visit Croatia from Barcelona, there are regular charter flights of Dubrovnik Airlines from May to October, as well as Spanair flights.

Really very hard decision, Just like Lynda said, toss a coin or look for good hotels and decide then. Good luck.

Barcelona is much expensive than Croatia, but in Croatia there some places with high prices such as Dubrovnik and Hvar (town), but they are still not as expensive as spanish Barcelona (in overall, if you do not go to posh bars or restaurants).

Croatia vs Spain live score and goal updates from the Euro 2016 Group D clash

Spain will seal top place in Group D with a win, while the Croats know a point will see them secure second place. Follow all the action here

  • Updated 22:16, 21 JUN 2016

Key Events

Group D final standings

As this is the hardest tournament to work out in modern times, here’s the lay of the land in Group D.

Croatia go through as winners and will face a third-placed team on Saturday night, while Spain take on Italy on Monday night.

Turkey *may* still qualify as a best-place team, but we’ll have to wait until tomorrow until we find out the last of the land.

Here’s how Group D ended up:

  1. Croatia – 7pts
  2. Spain – 6pts
  3. Turkey – 3pts
  4. Czech Rep – 1pt

5 things we learned

Croatia sealed top spot in Group D and a favourable knockout draw with an astonishing comeback win over Spain in Bordeaux.

Alvaro Morata’s early goal had appeared to set a full-strength La Roja side on their way to a comfortable victory, only for Nikola Kalinic’s brilliant equaliser to steal a point for the rotated Croatians.

Sergio Ramos then missed a late penalty that would have handed the Spaniards victory.

And the defending champions paid the price when Kalinic set up the superb Ivan Perisic to score an 89th-minute winner.

But what did we learn? Ed Malyon was there and here’s what he took from the clash in Bordeaux.

Northern Ireland though to the knockout stages

Tonight’s results also mean that Northern Ireland have be confirmed as one of the best third-placed finishers and will take their place in the last-16.

And it means we get our Italy vs Spain last-16 clash next Monday, right before England play.

Cancel any plans you might have that evening.

FULL TIME: Croatia 2-1 Spain

Drama with the final kick of the game as Silva surges into the box but sees his cross cleared as the final whistle goes.

Quite the turnaround here, as Croatia put the kibosh on an excellent first-half performance from Spain to see off the holders 2-1 in Bordeaux.

That means Croatia have topped Group D, ahead of Spain.

Turkey have beaten the Czech Republic 2-0 in the night’s other game.

Lots of reaction to follow here, so don’t move a muscle.

Are we in for Spain vs Italy?

Croatia will top the group if they see out the three additional minutes of stoppage time – which will mean second place Spain will play the winners of of Group E, which is Italy as things stand.

GOAL! Spain 1-2 Croatia (Perisic)

Croatia look to have won it, after Perisic nets on the counter with only three minutes remaining.

Was David de Gea at fault there? It beat the Manchester United stopper at the near post, but Perisic’s shot from the left-hand side of the area did take a deflection.

That penalty save in pictures

As Thaigo comes on for Fabregas, here’s how that penalty save went down in pictures.

What a mess.

That penalty was a bit of a mess all round, really.

It shouldn’t have been a penalty, Ramos shouldn’t really have been taking it and Subasic was miles off his line.

Apart from that, everything was fine.


Drama, as Sergio Ramos sees a penalty saved by Subasic.

The penalty decision was not a good one – David Silva was barely touched when the Manchester City went down in the box, but karmic justice has it’s way and Subasic (miles off his line) stands up to Ramos’ blast down the middle.

Perisic busy

Perisic has been continuing to make a nuisance out of himself for Croatia in this second half as he puts in a very good shift.

But hold on – Spain have a penalty!

Turkey go 2-0 up

Another goal in Group D’s other game and one which makes 1-1 an even more useful scoreline for both of these sides.

And it’s also good news for Northern Ireland, who still remain in position to qualify for the last-16.

Looking ahead

As Croatia continue to pile the pressure on, the prospect of a Spain versus Italy last-16 clash starts to become more of a reality.

With both sides in good form it would be a shame to see them meet, but what a clash it would be.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though – Croatia still need another goal to usurp the Spaniards at the top of Group D.

Croatia pressing

No clear-cut chances yet in the opening ten minutes of this second half, with the most noticeable happening being Verdan Corluka taking his colourful headband off.

Rakitic could change this as he pings in a free-kick from a promising position. but it is headed behind for a corner by Sergio Ramos.

Pjaca then attempts a spectacular with an overhead kick, but it goes just wide.

Croatia are having a decent spell here.

Off we go again

The two sides are back underway in Bordeaux.

As things stand, the 1-1 draw will see these sides finish first and second, so will we see our two sides busting a gut?

Croatia’s equaliser in pictures

Here’s the moment that Kalinic levelled things up just before the half-time whistle.

That was the first goal that Spain have conceded in 735 minutes of European Championship football, which isn’t too shabby really.

HALF-TIME: Croatia 1-1 Spain

So, that Kalinic goal has put the cat among the pigeons.

That made it two very nice goals in the first half – Spain’s effort being one of the better team goals you’ll see in the tournament, while Kalinic’s flick from Perisic’s cross was a sublime piece of skill that will leave Blackburn Rovers fans scratching their heads.

GOAl! Croatia 1-1 Spain (Kalinic)

It turns out Spain can’t hold on – former Blackburn striker Kalinic has levelled with a superb flick on the volley from five yards out.

Five minutes until half-time

Almost time for the half-time whistle, as the Spaniards continue to keep Croatia at bay.

Morata was a good first-touch away from doubling their advantage just then, but this will be a deserved lead at the break if they make it through the next couple of minutes.

No trouble in the 30th minute

The 30-minute mark has been and gone – and it would appear that the rumoured charge from the Croatian ultras has not occurred.

The head of the Croatian police had reportedly said that the fans would look to get to the referee.

But it looks like the extra security has done its job.

Approaching the 30-minute mark

We’re approaching the 30-minute mark in Bordeaux – which was when reports suggested that Croatian ultras were planning action.

We’ve not seen anything yet:

Silva shining

When David Silva is in full flow there aren’t many better players to watch.

The Manchester City playmaker has shown a few glimpses of what he’s capable of in this opening 25 or so minutes, gliding past players and spotting passes that 99 per cent of the players in this tournament can’t see.

Here’s some fellow Premier League midfielder stat-age:

Morata down

Morata has hit the deck after clashing with Corluka in the Croatia box, but he finds his feet again, rubs his head and gets back on with it.

It’s been a busy day for the Spain striker, who was earlier re-signed by Real Madrid, who activated the buy-back clause they inserted in their deal with Juventus.

Spain’s opener in pictures

Here’s how that Spain opener went down via the medium of still photography.

Which, of course, doesn’t do David Silva’s delicious pass justice.

Spain losing their heads?

Spain doing their best to throw thier early lead away here, with big errors from Rams and De Gea going unpunished – but just.

The Man United goalkeeper’s error saw Rakitic dink onto the bar. A warning sign.

And here’s how the chase for the Golden Boot looks following Morata’s strike:

A goal in Turkey

There’s also been a goal in tonight’s other game.

Burak Yilmaz has put Turkey 1-0 up against the Czech Republic – which is poetnially good news for Northern Ireland’s hopes of qualifying for the next round.

Croatia 0-1 Spain (Morata)

That’s beauty of a goal from Spain.

David Silva has just played the pass of the tournament as he dragged two defenders out of the way,found Fabregas who put in Morata and the new/old Real Madrid striker finished with aplomb.

A superb team move, and Spain are on their way to a third straight win.

Off we go in Bordeaux as the holders get us underway.

It’s a steady away opening couple of minutes, with a couple of early big tackles going in.


The teams are out and the anthems are being sung.

Spain trundles away in offensively before Croatia’s somewhat more stirring ditty comes on.

Kit-wise we’ve got two away shorts on show – Croatia’s all blue checkered affair and Spain’s out-there white number with yellow and red speckles on. Strong kit, but we shouldn’t be seeing two away kits.

Our man Ed Malyon is in attendance and he’s been getting his stadia geekery on:

We should be in store for some decent midfield action this evening, even in Luka Modric’s absence.

Here’s a graphic of two La Liga stars as the teams head out.

Croatia’s starting XI

We also have our Croatia side, as they must make do without Luka Modric.

Remember, the Croats will top the group if they win tonight, while a draw will see them finish second. Should they lose and the Czech Republic fail to win, then they will also secure second place.

The third place team in Group D will also likely qualify for the last-16.

Bit complicated, this 24 team lark, isn’t it?

Here’s how they will be lining up:

  • Croatia: Subasic; Srna, Corluka, Jedvaj, Vrsaljko; Rog, Badelj; Perisic, Rakitic, Pjaca; Kalinic

Spain – Croatia H2H

You are on page where you can compare teams Spain vs Croatia before start the match. Here you can easy to compare statistics for both teams. If you want to check live score or game statistics click here: Spain vs Croatia result

11 september 2018 18:45

Spain Stats

Last 6 matches stats

Overall matches stats

Croatia Stats

Last 6 matches stats

Overall matches stats

Teams Spain Croatia played so far 4 matches.
Spain won 2 direct matches. Croatia won 1 matches. 1 matches ended in a draw. On average in direct matches both teams scored a 1.75 goals per Match.

Spain in actual season average scored 2.39 goals per match. In 20 (86.96%) matches played at home was total goals (team and opponent) Over 1.5 goals. In 16 (69.57%) matches in season 2018 played at home was total goals (team and opponent) Over 2.5 goals.

Croatia average scored 1.81 goals per match in season 2018. In 18 (66.67%) matches played away was total goals (team and opponent) Over 1.5 goals. In 9 (33.33%) matches played away team was total goals (team and opponent) Over 2.5 goals.

Below you will find a lot of statistics that make it easier Predict the result for a match between both teams. Below the text is a list of the direct games.

STREAKS FOUND FOR DIRECT MATCHES!!» Draw all recent 2 matches in a row.
» In the last 2 matches in a row both teams no to scored in match no BBTS
» In the last 2 matches sum of goals was Under 2.5
» In the last 2 matches sum of goals was Under 1.5

You can check streaks only for team: Spain stats
You can check streaks only for team: Croatia stats
See more streaks stats for today matches: click here

Direct matches stats Spain Croatia

Statistics of the season

We invite you to check Spain and Croatia match statistict (Tab Stats->Match statistics), where you will find out who is the best scorer. Also you can check the statistics of possession, shots, corners, offsides, and many other applications.

In tab Goals stats (tab Stats->Goals stats) check how many loses and scored goals per game, how many games won and lost to zero. You will find what results teams Spain and Croatia usually end matches with divided into first and second half.
Our site is not limited to only as this. Check Odds stats (Tab Stats->odds), where you will find graphical statistics bet Under / Over and Handicap.

In tab Form(Stats->form) you find graph teams form and a list of all matches of Spain and Croatia in season.
In the section Schedule you will find full schedule of both teams for the whole season.

Little League Baseball World Series 2018 Japan vs Spain

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