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Euro 2024: Croatia vs. Italy: Preview, Prediction & Betting Tips

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      • (55') L. Modrić
      • (90'+8') M. Zaccagni
      • (24') L. Sučić
      • (60') L. Modrić
      • (73') L. Ivanušec
      • (78') M. Pongračić
      • (82') J. Stanišić
      • (90'+1') M. Brozović
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      • (90'+3') R. Calafiori
      • (90'+6') N. Fagioli

          Croatia vs. Italy - Match Result Tip

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          Italy To Win @ 13/10
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          Croatia vs. Italy - Anytime Goalscorer Tip

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          Federico Chiesa To Score Anytime @ 7/2
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          Croatia vs. Italy - Footy Accumulators Prediction

          In what is a must-win for both teams, this game is already shaping up to be one of the better games of the final round of group fixtures. Italy looked well-coached and efficient in their opening game, and despite being dominated by the Spanish it feels like that game was more a consequence of Spain's immense quality than Italy's inadequacy.

          In Gianluca Scamacca, Italy have a striker coming off the back of a season where he produced 19 goals and 7 assists, and in Federico Chiesa they have a man who's already proven capable of leading a team to a major international trophy. The latter has looked dangerous in this tournament so we're expecting a big performance from him here, and with Croatia having conceded a total xG of 3.33 in their first two games, compared to Italy's 2.36, we think the Azzuri will prove too strong for the Croats. Croatia 1-2 Italy.

          Croatia vs. Italy: Preview, Prediction & Betting Tips

          This Monday, the Euro 2024 group stage will witness a crucial encounter between Croatia and Italy, two teams with rich footballing histories but currently navigating different trajectories in this tournament. As both sides prepare to clash, the stakes couldn't be higher, particularly for Croatia, who find themselves in a precarious position.

          • Date: 24/06/2024
          • Kick-off time: 20:00
          • Location: Red Bull Arena, Leipzig

          Croatia entered Euro 2024 with high expectations, given their impressive runs in recent World Cups – finalists in 2018 and semi-finalists in 2022. However, their performance in this tournament has been far from convincing. Currently sitting 4th in Group B with just one point, Croatia's hopes of progressing to the last 16 hang by a thread.

          Their campaign started disastrously with a heavy defeat against Spain. The Spaniards outclassed Croatia in every department, exposing their defensive frailties and lack of cutting edge up front. This demoralising loss was followed by a disappointing draw with Albania, a match that Croatia were widely expected to win. Despite dominating possession and creating numerous chances, Croatia's inability to convert those opportunities into goals highlighted a stark problem.

          Much of the discourse around Croatia has centred on the notion that this is a team in decline. While their midfield remains strong, anchored by the evergreen Luka Modrić and the dynamic Mateo Kovačić, the overall balance of the team seems to have deteriorated. Modrić, even at 38, continues to pull the strings with his vision and passing, while Kovačić adds drive and energy. However, the lack of pace and directness up front is a glaring issue. Croatia's attack has struggled to stretch defences and create space, making them predictable and easier to defend against.

          Manager Zlatko Dalić now faces a daunting task. Croatia must secure a win against Italy to stand any chance of advancing to the knockout stages. Anything less, and they will likely be packing their bags. The pressure on Dalić and his team is immense, and it remains to be seen whether they can rise to the occasion.

          In contrast, Italy find themselves in a relatively better position, sitting 2nd in Group B with three points from their first two games. Their tournament began with a narrow but comfortable victory over Albania. However, their subsequent match against Spain revealed some concerning signs. Italy were thoroughly outplayed, succumbing to a defeat that raised questions about their ability to compete at the highest level.

          That performance against Spain was particularly worrying due to its toothless nature. Italy struggled to impose themselves on the game, looking second best in almost every aspect. Despite this setback, Italy are still in control of their destiny. A draw against Croatia would be sufficient to guarantee them second place in the group and a spot in the last 16.

          Italy come into this tournament as the defending champions, having won Euro 2020. This status brings with it a weight of expectation. Manager Luciano Spalletti will be acutely aware of the need to avoid an early exit. The Azzurri have a proud history in this competition and will be desperate to avoid a premature and unremarkable end to their campaign.

          Historically, Italy have struggled against Croatia, a statistic that adds an extra layer of intrigue to this match. In their previous eight meetings since their first encounter in 1942, Italy have managed just one win, with Croatia winning three times and the other five matches ending in draws. The last three meetings, including their most recent 1-1 draw in 2015, have all ended level, suggesting a closely fought contest could be on the cards.

          The midfield battle will be pivotal in this encounter. Croatia's Modrić and Kovačić will look to control the tempo of the game, dictate play, and provide the creative spark for their forwards. On the other hand, Italy's midfield, likely featuring the industrious Nicolò Barella and the experienced Jorginho, will aim to disrupt Croatia's rhythm and establish their own dominance.

          Another key area will be the attacking third. For Croatia, much will depend on whether their strikers can find form and finish the chances created by their midfield. Andrej Kramarić and Bruno Petković have shown glimpses of quality but need to be more clinical. Italy, meanwhile, will rely on the likes of Gianluca Scamacca and Federico Chiesa to provide the firepower. Chiesa, in particular, has the ability to unlock defences with his pace and skill, and he could be a decisive factor in breaking down a potentially resolute Croatian defence.

          The outcome of this match hinges on several factors. If Croatia can rediscover their form and play to their potential, they have the quality to secure a win. However, their recent performances suggest that might be easier said than done. Italy, while not at their best, have shown enough resilience and quality to navigate their way through tough matches.

          A win for Croatia would keep their hopes alive and potentially see them through to the knockout stages, depending on other results. A draw or a win for Italy would see them progress and send Croatia home. Given the stakes, it promises to be a tense and tightly contested affair.

          Where To Watch

          This game will be aired live to all U.K. viewers on BBC One and on the BBC iPlayer app and website.

          Team News

          Croatia Team News:

          Croatia did not appear to pick up any injuries against Albania but it's fair to expect changes following what was a pretty poor performance on the whole.

          Ante Budimir caused Albania significant problems off the bench and could come into this starting XI for this one, while Mario Pašalić may also have done enough in his cameo to work his way into the lineup.

          Italy Team News:

          Like their opponents, expect Italy to make a change or two here to spark a reaction in the side following their game against Spain.

          Bryan Cristante could be called into the starting lineup, while Mattia Zaccagni could be preferred to Lorenzo Pellegrini in the forward line.

          Croatia vs. Italy - Form Guide

          Croatia's form on the whole doesn't read that poorly given they've won three of their last five games, but crucially they've failed to win either of their most important games in that stretch so you'd have to argue they're in poor shape heading into this game.

          Against Albania, Croatia were well below par as they fell behind after just 11 minutes. They responded by dominating the possession and creating a few half chances, but Albania remained a threat on the break and largely dealt well with Croatia's onslaught.

          However, the introduction of Luka Sučić, Mario Pašalić and Ante Budimir made a big difference for Croatia in the second half as they took complete control of the game and began to knock on the door ever more loudly. Eventually, Andrej Kramarić equalised with a smart reverse finish before some clever play on the left resulted in an unfortunate Albania own goal just two minutes later.

          At that point it looked like Croatia would go on to win the game, but they somehow lost control of the encounter once again and following what was a last 10-15 minutes of end-to-end waves of attacks, Albania equalised right at the death.

          This result followed a 3-0 hammering at the hands of Spain, a 2-1 win over Portugal in a friendly, a 3-0 win over North Macedonia and a 4-2 in over Egypt.

          Italy's form has seen them register three wins, one draw and one defeat in their last five games. Italy's most recent outing was a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Spain, a scoreline that largely flattered the Italians. Luciano Spaletti's men were comfortably second best to a Spain side that were more dynamic and more intelligent with the ball.

          Italy struggled to cope with the 1v1 threats of Nico Williams and Lamine Yamal, and after resiting the Spanish pressure for nearly an hour, Riccardo Calafiori diverted the ball into his own goal after some clever wing play from Williams.

          Italy never really looked like scoring and they'll be thankful their goal difference hasn't taken much damage.

          The performance against Albania, where they won 2-1, was pretty good, so there's little reason Italy to panic just yet with this one potentially just being a bad day at the office.

          Other results in Italy's last five games were a 1-0 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina, a 0-0 draw with Turkey and a 2-0 win over Ecuador.

          Header logoEuropean Championship - Group B

          Team logoSpain
          Team logoItaly
          Team logoCroatia
          Team logoAlbania
          Last updated 13/07/2024