Preview: Croatia vs Spain | Nations League Final

Croatia and Spain play the Nations League Final in a match that I think has 4 keys, the 1st is Spain’s ability to have possession, impose their positional play being Croatia forced to defend deep. Without being at a good level Spain are one of the best teams in possession and Croatia suffer when they have to defend for long periods of time unable to show agressiveness in games with few duels. This is what happened in the semi-finals during the first half hour of the match that ended with this Netherlands goal.

Almost all the big chances Croatia have conceded in the last year have come from crosses, including Wednesday last minute goal. Throughout the World Cup they received goals to teams like Morocco and Canada, allowing Slatko Dalic’s side too many shots in the box, especially headers. It will be in these situations that Morata and Joselu will have to take advantage for Spain. The striker caused Scotland a lot of problems with several chances in the first half and on Thursday to score against Italty thanks to his good positioning in the box.

If Spain don’t have possession and it becomes a game with a lot of transitions or Croatia having possession, I think Spain will have little chance of winning the final. When Modric, Brozovic and Kovacic have the ball their dominance of the game weighs on opponents either through long balls, an aspect that Croatia dominates and which has given Spain problems for many years, being the match against Italy one of the worst.

These problems forced Spain to defend in his own half, dropping deep, giving the midfield a lot of time to make decisions throwing through passes that were very difficult to defend.

If Spain have to sit in a low block it will be a matter of time for Croatia to score an win the game, so I give them as slight favourites to win the Nations League.

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