2018 World Cup runner-ups Croatia faces Scotland in the final round of group stage matches In Group D. Croatia and Scotland both face each other on 23rd June as both look to secure a win to qualify for the knockout stages.
Croatia have been a shell of their world cup self and have just 1 point on the table. Defeat to England and a draw with the Czech Republic perfectly summarizes their form. Meanwhile, Scotland lost their first game to the Czechs but earned 1 point against England in their second match.
It’s going to be a clash between Scotland manager Steve Clarke and Croatia’s Zlatko Dalić. While Scotland will be flying high after their draw against England, Croatia will need to put the work in to ensure their qualification.
Analysis Croatia vs Czech Republic
Croatia is expected to line up in a 4-3-3 formation against Scotland. The manager, Dalic has confirmed the return of Brozovic to the starting XI. Croatia will be hoping to get a goal first and then Scotland off. They have been struggling recently but only a win will ensure their chance to qualify for the next stage.
Meanwhile, Scotland might tweak their formation due to Gilmour’s unavailability. Scotland will also be pushing to win the three points. After an impressive display against England, Croatia will need to keep them away and not let them score.
Scotland are expected to set up as 3-5-2 just like they did against the Czech Republic. This formation helps them to keep possession but they will need to focus on scoring. They have scored 0 goals in the competition till now and a draw is not going to get them over the line this time.
When and Where?
Croatia face Scotland at Hampden Park, Glasgow on Wednesday, 23rd June at 12:30 am.
Team News and Injuries
Croatia has confirmed the return of Marcelo Brozovic to the starting lineup for the must-win match. He was dropped in the game against the Czech Republic after a poor showing in Croatia’s first match against England.
Their starting XI could feature Rangers left-back Borna Barisic. They had been without his services for their first two games of Euro 2020. But reports suggest he has rejoined the team for training over the weekend. They head into this clash with no injuries and can count on their full squad.
Predicted lineups: Livaković; Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Gvardiol; Modrić, Brozović, Kovačić; Ivanušec, Perišić; Petković.
Billy Gilmour’s absence is going to be a huge blow to Scotland going into this crunch contest. He was the man of the match against England and put in an impressive shift before being subbed off.
Other than Gilmour, Steve Clarke will have his whole squad to count on and will be hoping to break their goal-scoring duck in this match.
Predicted lineups: Marshall; Hendry, Hanley, Tierney; O’Donnell, McTominay, McGregor, McGinn, Robertson; Dykes, Adams.
Head to Head: Croatia vs Scotland
Croatia have never beaten Scotland in their previous 5 occasions. The only teams who have they have faced more and not secured a win are Portugal and France. They have lost 2 times and secured 3 draws.
Though this may make it seem like Scotland have more chances but that’s not the case. The Scottish team has failed to score even goal in the Euros yet, though they have smashed over 30 total shots till now. They are also goalless in 5 of their last 8 matches.
The last time these two countries met was in the same stadium Hampden Park in Glasgow on 15 October 2013. It was a world qualifier where Scotland won 2-0 against the Croats.
Croatia Form: W-D-L-L-D ( all competitions)
Scotland Form: W-D-W-L-D (all competitions)
“I am not happy and I don’t feel comfortable ahead of the last group match. This is not the Croatia I wanted or planned for but we have one more chance to make it right.”– Croatia Manager Dalic ahead of the clash against Scotland
“Of course, it was pleasing to get something out of the England game. I have to reiterate, it was to give ourselves a chance going into the Croatia match. All our focus is now on that and trying to make sure we make a little bit more history for the country.”– Scotland Manager Steve Clarke.
He further said they would be focusing and putting a little bit work on their game before the match on Wednesday. The aim would be to put up another impressive performance and get their tactics tied down.
How can Croatia and Scotland qualify?
Both the teams will qualify if they are able to secure a win against each other. The winner would qualify as the 2nd place team (based on goal differential if England wins). The other would potentially qualify as one of the best 3rd-place teams out of the 6 groups.
A draw would see both the teams eliminated since they would only have 2 points each compared to England and the Czechs who have 4 each. Meanwhile, a loss would also have the same result and the losing team would go home while others would advance.
12th Man Prediction: Croatia 1 – 1 Scotland
Both the teams will be looking to win and a draw would leave them both happy. It’s a tough call since both the teams have struggled in the tournament so far. We predict it’s going to end in a draw but we hope that’s not the case and get to see another thrilling match in this edition of the Euros.