MX23RW : Tuesday, November 28 14:03:35| >> :600:335115:335115:
[monks data]
Croatia national football team
Euro Champ Qualifying | Group Stage
Nov 21, 2023 at 7.45pm UK
Education City Stadium
Armenia national football team
1 - 0
Budimir (43')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Piloyan (87')

Preview: Croatia vs. Armenia - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Euro Champ Qualifying clash between Croatia and Armenia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Victory will seal Croatia's place at Euro 2024 on Tuesday evening, as they host Group D rivals Armenia in their final qualifying fixture.

The teams convene at Stadion Maksimir with the home side only needing to match the result of Wales in order to secure their spot in Germany; the visitors, meanwhile, have already been eliminated.

Match preview

Croatia's Lovro Majer celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on November 18, 2023© Reuters

After Armenia held Wales to a draw earlier in the day, Croatia leapfrogged Rob Page's Dragons in the Group D table on Saturday evening, seizing back control of their qualification destiny with a 2-0 win in Latvia.

Lovro Majer and Andrej Kramaric both struck within the first 20 minutes at Riga's Skonto Stadion, and the recent World Cup bronze-medallists then cruised to victory shortly after their Welsh counterparts were restricted to one point in Armenia.

Having slipped up twice last month, with back-to-back defeats against group winners Turkey and then Wales, Croatia can now qualify directly for next summer's Euros if they take maximum points in midweek - or even if they draw or lose and Turkey deny Wales a win.

Nonetheless, long-serving coach Zlatko Dalic - who has led his nation so close to unprecedented glory over the past few years - will be acutely aware that the UEFA Nations League runners-up cannot afford to be complacent.

Failure to wrap up runners-up spot would mean entering the lottery of the playoffs, in which the Kockasti's place is assured thanks to their superb run to the Nations League final.

If Croatia cannot make it to Germany via the front door, they will be forced to take a more laborious route towards a sixth straight European Championship finals, where their target will be finally collecting some silverware before more members of the 'golden generation' step aside.

Armenia's Lucas Zelarayan celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on November 18, 2023© Reuters

After coming up short in their penultimate Group D fixture, Armenia can no longer sneak into the top two, so dreams of a first-ever tournament appearance have been ended once again.

Hopes of an improbable late surge up the standings rose when Lucas Zelarayan fired home the first goal against Wales at the weekend, but despite also striking the woodwork later on, the home side could only draw 1-1 in Yerevan, as an own goal from Nair Tiknizyan cancelled out Zelarayan's opener.

It could have been so different for the nation placed 95th in FIFA's world rankings, who upset Wales in Cardiff during the summer to move into contention: in three subsequent matches, they increased their points tally by just one, most notably suffering a shock defeat to Latvia.

As a result, Ukrainian coach Oleksandr Petrakov and his diverse squad drawn from the Armenian diaspora will sit out next year's finals, and the wait goes on for a major finals debut.

Two draws and three defeats from their last five outings may also leave Petrakov's position in some jeopardy, as his side are now likely to finish fourth in the final table.

Croatia Euro Champ Qualifying form:

Croatia form (all competitions):

Armenia Euro Champ Qualifying form:

Armenia form (all competitions):

Advert - content below:

Team News

Croatia's Mateo Kovacic in action on June 18, 2023© Reuters

Increasingly injury-prone, Croatia's Mateo Kovacic withdrew from Zlatko Dalic's squad last week after suffering another setback with his recurring quad problem, and the Manchester City midfielder joins long-term absentee Ivan Perisic on the sidelines.

Bruno Petkovic and Nikola Vlasic are also ruled out by injury, but first-choice striker Andrej Kramaric and Feyenoord winger Luka Ivanusec both returned to the fray in Latvia at the weekend; Kramaric has netted four goals from five Group D appearances so far.

A teammate of Kovacic in Manchester, Josko Gvardiol should again feature at left-back for the home side, given Dalic's dissatisfaction with the alternative options, and a similar side to that which started in Riga should be named on Tuesday.

Armenia, meanwhile, will be without captain Varazdat Haroyan in midweek, after he picked up his third booking of the Euro 2024 qualifying process last time out.

Due to the Astana centre-back's suspension, Taron Voskanyan could be called upon to deputise in the visitors' back five, forcing Oleksandr Petrakov to make at least one change from the team that lined up against Wales.

Argentina-born Lucas Zelarayan should feature in the final third, alongside Borussia Monchengladbach striker Grant-Leon Ranos, who was born and raised in Germany but switched allegiance earlier this year.

Croatia possible starting lineup:
Livakovic; Stanisic, Sutalo, Erlic, Gvardiol; Modric, Brozovic, Majer; Pasalic, Kramaric, Ivanusec

Armenia possible starting lineup:
Cancarevic; Dashyan, Calisir, Voskanyan, Arutyunyan, Tiknizyan; Sevikyan, Iwu, Spertsyan, Zelarayan; Ranos

SM words green background

We say: Croatia 2-1 Armenia

Although Armenia have little left to play for, the former Soviet nation have proven themselves tough opponents throughout much of their Group D campaign, and Croatia only won September's reverse fixture by a single goal.

After losing for the first time at home in European Championship qualifying last month, the home side will be keen to reach Euro 2024 in style - but it may be a closer call than many observers expect.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

ID:529355:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect15319:

Previews by email

Click here to get Sports Mole's daily email of previews and predictions for every major game!

Game History

How you voted: Croatia vs Armenia

Collect / Create New Data
Share this article now:
Wales' Harry Wilson celebrates scoring against Croatia on October 15, 2023
Read Next:
Euro 2024 qualifying permutations: Who can qualify on Saturday?
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.
rhs 2.0
MLS Apple TV+ Messi promo
Today's games header
Van Assche
Tables header RHS

Group A

Q Spain Spain870121
Q Scotland flag Scotland852117
3 Norway Norway832311
4 Georgia Georgia82248
5 Cyprus Cyprus80080

Group B

Q France France871022
Q Netherlands Netherlands860218
3 Greece Greece841313
4 Ireland Rep. Ireland82066
5 Gibraltar flag Gibraltar80080

Group C

Q England flag England862020
Q Italy Italy842214
3 Ukraine Ukraine842214
4 Macedonia N. Macedonia82248
5 Malta flag Malta80080

Group D

Q Turkey Turkey852117
Q Croatia Croatia851216
3 Wales flag Wales833212
4 Armenia Armenia82248
5 Latvia Latvia81073

Group E

Q Albania national flag Albania843115
Q Czech Republic Czech Republic843115
3 Poland Poland832311
4 Republic of Moldova Moldova824210
5 Faroe Islands Faroe Islands80262

Group F

Q Belgium Belgium862020
Q Austria Austria861119
3 Sweden Sweden831410
4 Azerbaijan Azerbaijan82157
5 Estonia Estonia80171

Group G

Q Hungary Hungary853018
Q Serbia Serbia842214
3 Montenegro Montenegro832311
4 Lithuania Lithuania81346
5 Bulgaria Bulgaria80444

Group H

Q Denmark Denmark1071222
Q Slovenia Slovenia1071222
3 Finland Finland1060418
4 Kazakhstan Kazakhstan1060418
5 Northern Ireland flag N. Ireland103079
6 San Marino flag San Marino1000100

Group I

Q Romania Romania1064022
Q Switzerland Switzerland1045117
3 Israel Israel1043315
4 Belarus Belarus1033412
5 Kosovo flag Kosovo1025311
6 Andorra flag Andorra100282

Group J

Q Portugal Portugal10100030
Q Slovakia Slovakia1071222
3 Luxembourg flag Luxembourg1052317
4 Iceland Iceland1031610
5 Bosnia Bosnia H'vina103079
6 Liechtenstein flag Liechtenstein1000100

MLS Apple TV+ Messi promo
New Apple Music general promo - 300x250

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sports Mole provides in-depth previews and predictions for every match from the biggest leagues and competitions in world football.
Argentina's Lionel Messi kisses the World Cup trophy after collecting the Golden Ball award on December 18, 2022Sign up for our FREE daily preview newsletter direct to your inbox!