Croatia v Spain Prediction: Nations League Final on 18.06.2023
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Croatia was drawn in their semi-final against Italy midweek and caused a storm by eliminating the current European champions. The Italians continue to blow hot and cold, winning in England to regain the prize before failing to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar. They are a team capable of winning major trophies but were out-worked, out-fought, and out-thought on Wednesday evening. Croatia won that game 4-2 but needed extra time to get across the line.
- Netherlands v Italy Prediction: Nations League Match on 18.06.2023
The Croatia v Italy match ended 2-2 after 90 minutes following goals from Kramaric and Pasalic, both coming in the second half. Petkovic added a third with 98 minutes played before Modric helped settle things with a finely dispatched penalty to close the show. Italy was competitive for 90 minutes but lacked the fitness and concentration of their opponents to win under pressure. That was a real test of character for this Croatian squad, and they passed with flying colours.
Croatia out-lasted Italy
There’s no way to know at this stage, but our team of content writers and football lovers aims to help with this in-depth preview. Readers will find the most critical trends, stats, and form ahead of this showpiece event, as those numbers often help make strong predictions. Spain is the pre-match favourites with the most respected pundits and traders, but Croatia was excellent in the semi-finals when scoring an extra-time win over Italy. They’ll aim for more goals and cheers in this decider.
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It’s come down to this as Croatia and Spain clash in Sunday’s final from 19:45 GMT. The victor will be crowned the 2023 UEFA Nations League champion, sending fans off into pre-season in high spirits. But a winner’s medal will also give Croatia or Spain a timely confidence boost ahead of the European qualifiers later this year and Germany 2024 next summer. Which team will get the desired result and write their name in the history book?
Spain ruined Italy’s plans
A meeting of two teams that are more than capable of winning the Nations League trophy. Is this the start of something special for Croatia and Modric as they prepare to challenge for more honours next year in Germany, or will we see the return of Spain as the major force in world football? Croatia played 120 minutes four days ago, while Joselu’s late goal helped avoid the same fate for Spain. That may prove to be the difference here.
The pre-match betting odds available to anyone with a 22bet account, including new customers, is available now. Croatia is 5.2 to win, or you can support Spain as the 1.69 pre-game favourites. Another draw for Croatia is 3.86.
With the game set to move into extra time, just like the other semi-final between Croatia and the Netherlands, Joselu scored to give his side a late victory. That sparked joyous scenes in the Spanish technical area with supported worldwide celebrating. But the Spaniards are experienced enough to know they haven’t achieved anything yet. There’s still work to do. Spanish boss Luis de la Fuente will recognise that and ensure his men are primed for battle.
Croatia v Spain prediction
Sunday heralds the tenth meeting of Croatia and Spain, and the head-to-head stats make for interesting and insightful reading. There are no shocks in the overall scores, with the Italians already on five wins ahead of their opponent’s score of three and a draw. The last game was in Euro 2020 – played 12 months later due to the pandemic, remember – which produced no fewer than eight goals. Spain won that game 5-3, but with the last three meetings producing an average of 6.33 goals per game, we have high hopes for another goal-fest.
Nations League odds
The match caught fire early when Pino scored inside the opening three minutes of play, but Italy are no pushovers, and it didn’t come as a shock to see them get back on level terms quickly. Immobile rifled home a penalty to bring the teams to 1-1 and deserves credit for holding his nerve and getting the goal. If Italy had missed their penalty in that period of play, it looked like the Spanish would bring out the big guns and finish things early. But they were made to wait and work for a place in the final.
Spain and Italy was a semi-final on Thursday that lived up to the pre-match hype and wouldn’t have looked out of place as a decider on Sunday. Two decorated teams with experience in winning major trophies, it would always be a competitive contest, and that’s exactly what followers enjoyed. Three goals, including a late winner, were enough to send Spain through, leaving the Italians to pick over the bones before fighting for an uninspiring but useful third-place finish.
Croatia is a team improving at an impressive speed, climbing the rankings and mixing it with the elite. They have always had a team capable of holding their own but seem to have had their fill of being unlucky losers. Croatia has done the groundwork, the heavy lifting, and took the knocks. Now fans believe it’s their time to shine. Croatia must emerge from the shadows and lift the UEFA Nations League. If they do, it could kickstart an incredible journey for the team currently ranked seventh in the world, having climbed to third in 1999 after sinking to a record-low 125th just five years earlier.