Depleted Croatia (CRO) and a rejuvenated Spain (ESP) lock horns in the Euro 2020 round of 16. A convincing 3-1 win over Scotland in their final group stage game helped the 2018 World Cup runners-up seal a place in the last 16 and finish second in Group D. Three-time champions Spain, who managed just two points from the first two games, hit five past Slovakia to reach the knockout stages.
In the absence of Ivan Perisic and Dejan Lovren, Croatia faces a daunting task in Denmark. The Inter Milan forward tested positive for COVID-19, and Lovren will have to sit out after picking up his second yellow card of the tournament. AC Milan’s Ante Rebic is likely to take Perisic’s spot in the playing eleven, while Duje Caleta-Car could partner Domagoj Vida at the heart of their defence. The Croats will be hoping for another memorable performance from Luka Modric, who grabbed an assist in the previous meeting between both sides.
Spain head coach Luis Enrique seems to have found the right combination of playing eleven after the thumping win over Slovakia. Pablo Sarabia was outstanding in the final group game as the PSG winger scored a goal and made two assists. Barcelona’s Pedri Gonzalez, too, had an excellent outing, with a vital contribution in three goals. Meanwhile, the return of Sergio Busquets helped Spain boss the midfield. Also, left-back Jordi Alba and Gerard Moreno picked up an assist.
Played: 8 CRO won: 3 ESP won: 4 Drawn: 1
Top Five Fantasy Points scorers (Euro 2020 Group Stage)
CRO: I Perisic (32 pts), L Modric (30.5 pts), M Kovacic (18.5 pts), N Vlasic (14 pts), D Vida (11.5 pts)
ESP: A Laporte (38 pts), J Alba (31.5 pts), P Sarabia (24 pts), Koke (20.5 pts), P Gonzalez Lopez (20 pts)
Euro 2020 Stats
Top Goalscorer: CRO – I Perisic (2 goals); ESP – A Morata, P Sarabia, A Laporte, F Torres (1 goal)
Most Assists: CRO – A Kramaric, L Modric, M Kovacic, I Perisic (1 assist); ESP – P Sarabia, G Moreno (2 assists)
Most Passes Completed: CRO – L Modric (209 passes); ESP – A Laporte (270 passes)
Most Successful Tackles: CRO – M Brozovic (4 tackles); ESP – A Laporte (3 tackles)
Shots Saved: CRO – D Livakovic (5 saves); ESP – U Simon (1 save)
CRO: I Perisic (unavailable), D Lovren (suspended)
CRO (possible): D Livakovic; J Juranovic; D Vida, D Caleta-Car, J Gvardiol; M Brozovic, M Kovacic, L Modric; N Vlasic; A Rebic, B Petkovic
ESP (possible): U Simon; C Azpilicueta, E Garcia, A Laporte, J Alba; Koke, S Busquets Burgos, P Gonzalez Lopez; G Moreno, A Morata, P Sarabia
Parameswaran Sankaranarayan is a sports enthusiast who has worked in print, website, and other digital platforms. He was part of the editorial team of first-ever Indian football-based website - IndianFootball.com (now defunct) - and passionately follows the latest happenings in world football. During his time as a journalist, he had the opportunity to interact with some of the iconic personalities in Indian sports and witness some memorable moments in Indian football.
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