How to watch Online – beIN SPORTS CONNECT
Channel- HD 3
Kick- Off – 22:45
Stadium- Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb
Spain can book their place in the finals of the UEFA Nations League, with a victory over Croatia on Thursday evening. However, the World Cup finalists will be looking to gain some measure of revenge as Spain thrashed Croatia 6-0 in the reverse fixture. As ever, you can watch all the action Live & Exclusive on beIN SPORTS CONNECT.
Despite sitting at the foot of the Group, Croatia still has a chance of qualification for the Nations League finals. The next two games against Spain and then England will shape the destiny of Zlatko Dalic’s team.
The 6-0 defeat to Spain in September was very much a blip since a summer to remember for Croatia, and now they have a chance to get some revenge over Spain. A host of players retired after the World Cup and Dalic has moved to freshen up the side bringing in youngsters Josip Brekalo and Nikola Vlasic who could come on from the bench.
In team news, Dalic will welcome back the trio of Sime Vrsaljko, Lovre Kalinic and Marcelo Brozovic who have all recovered from injuries. Expect Vrsaljko & Brozovic, two of the mainstays of the side that reached the World Cup to start in the team on Thursday evening.
Croatia Predicted Team: Livaković; Barišić, Vida, Lovren, Vrsaljko; Modrić, Badelj, Kovačić; Perišić, Rebić, Kramarić
As for Spain, they were shocked 3-2 by England last time out in the Nations League, inflicting the first defeat for new La Roja boss Luis Enrique. The challenge now for the former Barca coach will be how his team react to the loss and get the result they need to make the Nations League finals in what could prove to be a tricky away encounter.
Spain thankfully has a formidable record on the road, and have not tasted defeat in 15 competitive games. Enrique will know full well that the 6-0 reverse score was a one-off, and will be expecting a tougher test in Zagreb.
In team news, Spain will be without Thiago Alcantara who is sidelined with an ankle complaint. Whilst the trio of Koke, Paco Alcacer and Marcos Alonso have not been selected in the squad. Jordi Alba returns to the side and is likely to slot in at left-back, whilst Enrique will have to choose between Cesar Azpilicueta or Jonny at right-back with both Nacho and Dani Carvajal out through injury.
Spain Predicted Team: De Gea; Alba, Llorente, Ramos, Roberto; Isco, Busquets, Niguez; Asensio, Morata, Aspas
It certainly promises to be a fascinating encounter as Spain look to book their place in the UEFA Nations League finals, but will have a tough test against Croatia in Zagreb. You can watch all the action via beIN SPORTS CONNECT.