Preview - Spain vs Croatia 12 September 18

Started by Harry85, Sep 11, 2018, 05:58 AM

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Sep 11, 2018, 05:58 AM Last Edit: Sep 11, 2018, 06:03 AM by Harry85
Uefa Nations League A Group 4
Spain vs Croatia
Wednesday, September 12th, 2018
03:45am (GMT +8 Timing)
Stadium:  Martinez Valero

Last five matches form: D W D L W
Average goals per match (last ten games): 2.10
Average goals against per match (last ten games): 1.30
Top Scorer: Sergio Ramos and Álvaro Morata (13)

Last five matches form: W W W L D
Average goals per match (last ten games): 1.70
Average goals against per match (last ten games): 1.30
Top Scorer: Ivan Perišic (22)

It may still be early days, but the new Uefa Nations League already looks to be one of the best innovations in international football in years. Credit where its due to the organisers and this week we have a real firecracker of a contest to look forward to as World Cup runners up Croatia travel to Spain to take on Luis Enrique's men.

Spain started well under Enrique when deservedly beating England at Wembley Stadium. A win which extended their unbeaten in ninety minutes run to a whopping 25 matches. On paper at least this looks to be their stiffest test in sometime though as they bid to curtail the midfield dominance of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitc. No easy task.

Croatia warmed up for what will be their debut in this competition with a 1-1 draw away against European Champions Portugal, and will be keen to prove their World Cup performance was no fluke with another positive showing here.

Spain narrowly hold the edge in the head to head here with three wins to two for Croatia.

This is a new look Spain outfit and an interesting clash of styles, with the teams now closer together in how they play than under the Tiki Taka of the recent Spanish sides.

Spain were one of the unluckier sides at the World Cup in our view, hardly being helped by the managerial chaos in the build up to the tournament. They still boast marginally the better side on paper at least and can edge a thriller in front of their own fans.

Prediction: Spain 3 - 2 Croatia


Half time: 3 - 0
Full time: 6 - 0
Shots:  16 - 3
Shots on target: 9 - 1
Corner Kicks: 8 - 0
Possession: 68% - 32%

Two bookings in this one, both for a bewildered Croatia side. Ivan Santini and Marcelo Brozovic the men to have their name taken by referee Benoit Bastien.

Well we didn't see this result coming. What had looked like being a closely fought encounter between the World Cup runners up and a Spanish side in transition ended up being a total annihilation as Spain quite simply ran riot to send Croatia staggering from the pitch not quite sure of what had just hit them.

The opener came in the 24th minute. Lovely outside of the foot cross from Daniel Carvajal seeing Saul Niguez rise highest to head down into the ground and in.

Nine minutes later it was two. Marco Asensio picking the ball up in a central position around 25 yards from goal and unleashing a thunderous strike into the right-hand side of the goal.

The third came in the 35th minute. Asensio was unplayable tonight and when he blasted in another effort from range his effort came back off the crossbar, hit keeper Lovre Kalinic on the back and went in. 3-0 at half time.

It would only get worse in the second half for Croatia.

The fourth came just four minutes after the restart. Played into space on the right-hand side by Asensio and racing through on goal, Rodrigo slotted home through the keeper's legs.

Sergio Ramos got in on the act in the 57th minute, getting on the end of an Asensio corner from the left to head home into the right-hand side of the goal.

Still time for one more. Asensio picking out Isco inside the box around 12 yards out just to the right. Isco in turn picking out the top left corner.

6-0 final score. Spain sensational.

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