MX23RW : Monday, November 30 07:46:47| >> :600:960604:960604:
Oct 11, 2020 at 5pm UK at Stadion Maksimir
CroatiaCroatia
2-1
SwedenSweden
Vlasic (32'), Kramaric (84')
Kovacic (2'), Brozovic (45')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Berg (66')
Larsson (90+4')

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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's UEFA Nations League fixture between Croatia and Sweden, including team news and predicted lineups.

Croatia and Sweden square off on Sunday evening having both suffered disappointing starts to their 2020-21 UEFA Nations League campaign.

Both nations have suffered back-to-back defeats to France and Portugal, realistically leaving them to focus their attention on avoiding relegation.


Match preview

Mario Pasalic pictured for Croatia in June 2019© Reuters

When Croatia and Sweden were drawn alongside France and Portugal in Group A3, they would have accepted that finishing ahead of those two sides was highly unlikely.

Nevertheless, they will be bitterly disappointed having played a third of the group without getting a point on the board, effectively leaving them to battle for the minor positions at this stage.

In Croatia's case, they will feel that their two toughest fixtures are out of the way having already travelled to Lisbon and Paris during September.

However, conceding eight goals in that double-header will concern Zlatko Dalic, particularly when all of those strikes came after the opening 40 minutes.

Playing back-to-back fixtures in Zagreb provides Croatia with the ideal setting to turn things around as they bid to remain as outsiders for top spot heading into the last two games.

Meanwhile, Sweden have already played two of their three games in Stockholm, failing to get on the scoresheet in either of those encounters.

Like his Croatian counterpart, Janne Andersson will be contemplating what could have been with the Scandinavian outfit having also not conceded any goals until just before the half-time whistle.

Such developments have undermined their overall performances, and both managers will stress to their players that they can ill-afford any more lapses in concentration.

These two nations are squaring off for the first time since 2012 when Sweden recorded a 3-1 victory over Croatia in preparation for the European Championships.

Croatia Nations League form: LL
Croatia form (all competitions): DWWLLW

Sweden Nations League form: LL
Sweden form (all competitions): WWWLLW


Team News

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic reacts during the match against Argentina on June 21, 2018© Reuters

While Dalic played a relatively strongly side against Switzerland in midweek, the Croatia boss is still likely to make several changes.

Dejan Lovren, Marcelo Brozovic, Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic will all expect to be named in the starting lineup.

Mario Pasalic will also hope to be named in the first XI after getting on the scoresheet in Thursday's friendly.

Andersson is likely to take a similar approach when naming his Sweden team with Alexander Isak one of several players who will avoid dropping down to the substitutes' bench.

However, over half of the regular side were rested against Russia, meaning that the likes of Robin Olsen, Victor Lindelof, Dejan Kulusevski and Marcus Berg could all return to the team.

Croatia possible starting lineup:
Livakovic; Jedvaj, Lovren, Vida, Barisic; Brozovic, Modric; Brekalo, Pasalic, Perisic; Petkovic

Sweden possible starting lineup:
Olsen; Lustig, Jansson, Lindelof, Augustinsson; Forsberg, Olsson, Ekdal, Kulusevski; Berg, Isak


SM words green background

We say: Croatia 1-1 Sweden

Given their desire to avoid defeat on Sunday evening, we are expecting a relatively low-key affair. Croatia will likely make most of the running, but we fancy Isak and co to produce a moment of quality which secures a share of the spoils for their nation.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

ID:417734:cQx

Who will win Sunday's UEFA Nations League clash between Croatia and Sweden?

Croatia
Draw
Sweden
Croatia
50.0%
Draw
50.0%
Sweden
0.0%
2
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