Zlatko Dalic is hoping to usher in a number of young players when it comes to the Croatia squad for Euro 2024, with the manager needing to freshen things up after relying on the old guard for much of the past few years. However, Luka Modric continues to be a class performer on an international stage, while Domagoj Vida is the vice captain.

Other key players are Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic, with Manchester City’s Josko Gvardiol and Bayer Leverkusen’s Josip Stanisic potentially helping the Blazers to achieve a positive result in an opening clash against a tough Spain team. The Spanish have been slow starters in previous tournaments and they might find it tough to break down the opposition.

Interestingly, the two teams met in a recent Nations League encounter which saw the final end in a goalless draw and that probably suggests that Spain are trading at too short a price here. While La Roja were able to claim the title on penalty kicks, it will be hearten the Croatians that they can live with quality opposition.

Even so, there have been a couple of slip-ups for the outsiders in qualifying. There were consecutive defeats against Turkey and Wales which threatened their place in the actual tournament before wins over Latvia and Armenia smoothed a passage to the tournament proper. We think this could be a low-scoring contest in Berlin.


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