Croatia vs. Spain – Euro 2020, Round of 16

| June 25, 2021 11:49 am PDT

Spain has been one of the enigmas of Euro 2020 so far. A hugely talented side that enjoys long periods of possession – but seems reluctant or unable to finish that off with a goal. That changed when it really mattered against Slovakia, but there are still questions about this team.

Croatia has some very good players of its own and will feel as though it can exploit that Spanish hesitancy when they meet in Copenhagen on Monday. Read my Croatia vs. Spain betting preview to discover how I think the game will go – and my all-important betting pick.

Croatia vs. Spain Betting Odds

Croatia to Win +555
The Draw+265
Spain to Win-155

Croatia may have reached the final of World Cup 2018 but a lot has changed in three years. The bookmakers have recognized the drop in form and made Spain the big favorite to win this one and reach the quarterfinals. The odds for a Croatia win are tempting – but it is definitely the other two options here that seem more plausible.

Can Croatia Roll Back the Years and Beat Spain?

A number of Croatia’s World Cup 2018 squad have retired already, but there is still a healthy contingent of older players now performing in probably their last major tournament. That brings experience and know-how of course. But it also means ageing and tired legs playing a fourth game in just two weeks.

Croatia did not look completely convincing in either of its first two group games against England and the Czech Republic and needed a fairly routine win against Scotland to go through as runners up. Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic looked impressive, but the rest of the side is yet to turn up in my opinion.

Modric is the one that makes this team tick and he will need to be at his very best if Croatia is going to get past Spain. He is likely to see much less of the ball than he did in the group games, so he will have to make it count when he does get a chance. A goal like the one he scored against Scotland would be ideal.

Is Spain Now a Contender for Euro 2020?

Two draws against Sweden and Poland meant that Spain had to beat Slovakia in its final group game to stay in the competition – and Luis Enrique’s side finally delivered when it counted. A thumping 5-0 victory, aided by some very unfortunate goalkeeping from Slovakia, won the points. But can Spain keep that form going?

Both the first two games showed that Spain is able to keep control of the ball better than almost anyone in the tournament. But it also raised a huge question about its ability to find the net.

Luis Enrique’s determination to keep faith in misfiring striker Alvaro Morata was puzzling and there will be more than few fans desperate to see him replaced in the starting line up for this one.

Spain does have the players that could take over from the on loan Juventus forward – and it does seem as though his lack of confidence could really harm Spain’s chances here. Manchester City’s Ferran Torres seems an obvious replacement – and he scored with his very first touch against Slovakia. If Spain can finish better here, a quarterfinal berth is theirs.

My Croatia vs. Spain Prediction and Betting Pick

Pick
  • The Draw 
    +265

This is another Euro 2020 tie that I think will reach extra time before we have a winner. I do feel as though Spain has the ability to end up winning and progressing to the last eight. But I also believe it will take its time getting there. A change in personnel might change that – but Croatia is no pushover whoever starts.

This is probably the last chance for the players like Luka Modric to win a major trophy but he doesn’t have quite the same supporting cast as he had in Russia three years ago. I do think that Croatia will run Spain close – and possibly snatch the lead. But I expect Spain to prevail in the end.

Dan Roberts
Dan Roberts

Dan Roberts is an experienced freelance writer specialising in sports and sports betting. He is particularly knowledgeable about world soccer, but also writes about football, basketball and cricket.

As a fan of Nottingham Forest, New York Knicks, Minnesota Vikings and New York Mets, Dan has not had much to celebrate recently.

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