Cristiano Ronaldo leads the Portugal team on their last trip to Croatia for their last game in the UEFA Nations League for the Croatia Vs Portugal matchday 6 fixture. Croatia will aim to survive as they welcome Portugal to the Poljud Stadium for one last Nations League game in Group A3.
A draw for Croatia, tonight at Poljud Stadium, could spare them relegation into UEFA Nations League B. But it is a mountain to climb for the Croatians, who could lose in this fixture. Because while the visitors have little left to play, for now, Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portugal teammates will be eager to restore some pride after their title defence came to an end last weekend following a defeat to the World Champions France.
Portugal won the earlier fixture of this encounter 4-1 last time out in Ronaldo’s absence through goals from Joao Felix, Andre Silva, Joao Cancelo, and Diogo Jota.
Although it should be a fairly open game in the split between the 2018 World Cup finalists and the 2016 European Champions, even if the visitors should rest some key stars.
Croatia Team Form and Stats
Picking up only three points from five Nations League games is a poor return for Croatia after their impressive run to finals in the 2018 World Cup. Despite all those fine run two years ago, the hosts now battle for survival in League A.
Loosing 2-1 to Sweden last weekend was a heavy blow for Croatia in a Group A3. Sweden and Croatia are now level on points in third, though the Zlatko Dalic’s side sits above Janne Anderson’s men on a superior goal difference. Thus, avoiding a defeat to Portugal in this fixture is necessary unless France defeat Sweden in the other Group A3 fixture.
Meanwhile, head coach Dalic has stressed in his pre-match conference that the Vatreni will take a more aggressive approach from the start of the Croatia Vs Portugal game. However, Zlatko Dalic confirmed that he will be without some key players and revealed his plans to push Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic more into the attack for this crucial game.
The Vatreni, moreover, received a major boost on the backline following the return of Dejan Lovren ahead of the match. But on the other hand, positive COVID-19 tests have deprived him the likes of Andrej Kramaric, Domagoj Vida, and Marcelo Brozovic.
Considering a poor head-to-head record, plus their recent struggles and loss of key players suggest trouble for Croatia.
Croatia Team Key Stats
- Lost five of their last six UEFA Nations League games (W1)
- Winless in six games against Portugal in all competitions (D1, L5)
- Won four of their last five home games in all competitions
- Josip Brekalo has contributed three goals and three assists in his last six games in all competitions
“Only Injuries Would Stop Ronaldo” – Luis Figo
“It Is Easier To Win With The Best In World Ronaldo” – Bruno Fernandes
Portugal Team Form & Stats
After losing 1-0 to France last week in their penultimate group match, the Selecao gave uphold of the Nations League crown. Goalkeeper Rui Patricio pulled off some excellent saves in the fixture in an otherwise poor display, as his one error was enough for N’Golo Kante to give Les Blues a win in Lisbon.
The UEFA Nations League defending champions have nothing to play for in the competition after France won the top spot in Group A3 with a three-point advantage and a superior head-to-head record. Hence, Fernando Santos could make some changes to his best line-up.
It is yet to be seen if the head coach would start Cristiano Ronaldo after he said in his pre-match conference that the team wouldn’t prioritize helping the Juventus hitman close in on all-time international goalscoring record.
Elsewhere, Fernando Santos will have to make do without the injured Raphael Guerreiro, Renato Sanches, and Pepe.
Portugal Team Key Stats
- Unbeaten in their six games against Croatia in all competitions (W5, D1)
- Won 11 of their last 15 games in all competitions (D2, L2)
- Lost only one of their last nine away games in all competitions (W6, D2)
- Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 17 goals in his last 13 appearances for Portugal
Croatia Vs Portugal: Team News
Croatia Unavailable Players: Bruno Petkovic, Andrej Kramaric, Duje Caleta-Car, Domagoj Vida, & Marcelo Brozovic.
Portugal Unavailable Players: Raphael Guerreiro, Renato Sanches, & Pepe.
Croatia Vs Portugal Predicted Line-Ups
This prediction is based on current forms of the players, head coach’s tactics, and players availability. The line-up could differ when the official team line-ups are announced.
Croatia Predicted Line-Up: Livakovic, Barisic, Lovren, Pongracic, Juranovic, Modric, Kovacic, Brekalo, Vlasic, Perisic, Budimir.
Portugal Predicted Line-Up: Lopes, Semedo, Dias, Duarte, Rui, Pereira, Neves, Fernandes, Jota, Trincao, Ronaldo.
Since June 1996, Croatia and Portugal have faced each other six times with the visitors winning five times in the past, drawn once, and never lost.
Here are the five most recent meetings and some head-to-head stats on the team’s recent form in the UEFA Nations League.
|19/06/1996||Croatia vs Portugal||0-3||Euro 1996|
|12/11/2005||Portugal vs Croatia||2-0||Friendly|
|10/06/2013||Croatia vs Portugal||0-1||Friendly|
|25/06/2016||Croatia vs Portugal||0-1||Euro 2016|
|06/09/2018||Portugal vs Croatia||1-1||Friendly|
|05/09/2020||Portugal vs Croatia||4-1||UEFA Nations League|
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