Date: 28th June 2021
Time: 9:30 PM AM IST
Venue: Parken Stadium, Denmark
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In one of the most awaited encounters in Euro 2020 Round of 16, three-time tournament winners Spain are set to lock horns with 2018 World Cup runners-up Croatia. Both the sides are coming to the knockouts on the back of impressive victories in their last group game. While Croatia defeated Scotland 3-1, Spain thumped Slovakia 5-0. With a place in quarter-finals up for grabs, the stage is set for a thrilling game of football in Denmark on Monday.
Croatia have suffered a major blow ahead of this clash as star player Ivan Perisic has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been ruled out of this match. Ante Rebic is expected to get a place in the starting XI as a result. Meanwhile, Dejan Lovren is also suspended for this match and is set to be replaced by Duje Ćaleta-Car in the centre-back position.
Spain will have all their players available for this contest and have a few key decisions to make with respect to their starting line-up. While Cesar Azpilicueta is expected to keep his place at right-back position ahead of Marcos Llorente, Pau Torres might get a nod ahead of Eric Garcia. Sarabia is expected to keep his place down the left flank and is set to partner Gerard Moreno and Alvaro Morata.
Among the goalkeepers, Unai Simon could be a safer choice as Spain are coming to this match on the back of two clean sheets in the group stages. While Jordi Alba and Aymeric Laporte are obvious inclusions, Josko Gvardiol can prove to be the X-Factor with his runs down the left flank. In the midfield, Nicola Vlasic and Luka Modric will be the focal points for Croatia while Koke and Pablo Sarabia will be key for Spain.
The deciding factor could be the selection of attackers in this match. With Alvaro Morata and Gerard Moreno on one side, there will be the duo of Ante Rebic and Bruno Petkovic on the other. A goal from either one of these four could prove to be significant and hence one of them can be chosen as captain/vice-captain.
Probable Playing XI
Livakovic; Vrsaljko, Caleta-Car, Vida, Gvardiol; Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic; Vlasic, Petkovic, Rebic
Simon; Azpilicueta, Laporte, Torres, Alba; Pedri, Busquets, Koke; Sarabia, Morata, G Moreno
Goalkeepers: Livakovic, Simon
Defenders: Vida, Gvardiol, Alba, Laporte
Midfielders: Sarabia, Koke, Modric, Vlasic
Forwards: Moreno, Morata, Rebic, Petkovic
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