Spain vs Croatia Prediction: Back Pedri to have multiple Shots on Target

 | Friday 14th June 2024, 11:37am

Friday 14th June 2024, 11:37am

Spain Croatia Betting Tips

Spain and Croatia meet in one of the most eagerly anticipated clashes on matchday one at Euro 2024. It’s a 17:00 kick-off with the action from Berlin’s Olympiastadion live on ITV this Saturday tea-time.

Our Spanish football expert Mark Sochon will be following the national team throughout the tournament for us at Betfred Insights and read on for his preview and Spain vs Croatia Predictions...

Spain vs Croatia Betting Tips

  • Both teams to score @ 10/11
  • Pedri 2+ shots @ 7/4
  • Spain 2-2 Croatia @ 14/1

This one comes from a competitive Group B which also includes defending champions Italy, so the stakes are high for both teams. They are certainly no strangers to one another, having met at each of the last three editions of the European Championship, as well as in last summer’s UEFA Nations League final.

All of those meetings were hard fought affairs with Spain edging out Croatia 1-0 in the group stage at Euro 2012 which they went on to win. The Croats got revenge four years later in France with a 2-1 victory while the two sides played out an eight goal thriller at Euro 2020 with La Roja ultimately triumphing 5-3 in Extra Time in the round-of-16.

There wasn’t quite as much excitement in the Nations League finale last June with a goalless game followed by a shootout win for the Spanish as Croatian legend Luka Modrić was again denied the piece of international silverware that his glittering career surely deserves.

Even at the age of 38, Modrić remains Croatia’s talisman and chief creative force heading into these Euros. Recent history suggests the Croats can never be discounted but there are perhaps more doubts about them heading into this tournament than has previously been the case.

Modrić’s ability to cope with the demands of a busy schedule is one while their form has been somewhat patchy since reaching the World Cup semi-finals in Qatar.

They lost back-to-back Euro 2024 qualifiers against Turkey and Wales last October but recovered to secure a slightly unconvincing second place in their group and book their trip to a seventh successive major tournament.

Long-serving boss Zlatko Dalić will be hoping his side’s tournament know-how and experience will serve them well in Germany and he can take confidence from some encouraging displays in 2024 including a 2-1 friendly win over Portugal last weekend.

Spain meanwhile head into the Euros after putting five past both Andorra and Northern Ireland in warm-up games. Given the limited nature of the opposition, it’s hard to read too much into those results but their record in competitive football over the past 12 months has also been good.

Luis de la Fuente’s side won their final six Euro 2024 qualifiers to top their group ahead of Scotland, while their Nations League triumph ended an 11-year wait for international silverware. They also beat Italy in the semi-finals of that competition and they head into this tournament as the favourites to top Group B which also features unfancied Albania.

There is cautious optimism in Spain heading into these Euros, with the hope being that exciting, young wingers Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams can provide the attacking spark that has been so badly lacking against defensive opponents at recent tournaments.

La Roja have succumbed to embarrassing tournament exits against the likes of Morocco and Russia in recent years but this feels like a different Spain, albeit one that still has some fundamental flaws.

Central defence is one area of concern, while they also have a potential problem up top with Álvaro Morata badly out of form with just two goals in his last 20 Atlético Madrid appearances.

Mikel Oyarzabal is the most viable alternative but he only managed to net nine times for Real Sociedad in La Liga this season.

Team News:

Aleix García, Marcos Llorente and Pau Cubarsí were the unlucky three to be cut from Spain’s preliminary Euro 2024 squad. They’ve had no major issues since then but central defender Aymeric Laporte is a doubt heading into this game with Nacho likely to take his place.

The other big selection calls for Luis de la Fuente are whether to stick with Morata up front while Álex Grimaldo and Marc Cucurella are battling it out for a start at left back.

Croatia are expecting to have a full squad to pick from, with Zlatko Dalić having named a 26-man squad for the tournament. The familiar midfield trio of Luka Modrić, Mateo Kovačić and Marcelo Brozović should all start while Dominik Livaković, who impressed at the 2022 World Cup, will be the goalkeeper.

Dalić has a few big selection decisions to make though with competition for places in defence, while Ante Budimir and Bruno Petković appear to be competing for one place up front.

Spain vs Croatia Odds

*Please click on the link above to be taken to the main Spain vs Croatia Euro 2024 market page on betfred.com (or app) for all the live betting prices on this match.

Spain start as the 19/20 favourites to win this game with the Draw priced at 12/5 while Croatia are on offer at 16/5.

This is a game that may divide opinion amongst punters in terms of how open it’ll be. If you fancy a repeat of the high-scoring game between these two at Euro 2020, you can back Over 2.5 Goals at 11/10 while Over 3.5 Goals is priced at 11/4.

Others may view this as having the potential to be a much tighter opening group game, with a draw perhaps a reasonable result for both sides. If you see it going that way, Under 2.5 Goals is on offer at 4/6 while Both teams to score - No is priced at 4/5.

You can take advantage of Price Boosts to back two of the favourites in the goalscorer markets, with Álvaro Morata bumped up to 2/1 to score anytime while Andrej Kramarić is on offer at 4/1 to score at some point in the game.

If you fancy La Roja to triumph, you can back Spain to win, Spain most corners and Croatia most booking points at 7/2 which is one of the #PickYourPunt popular builders. You can also back Spain to score in both halves at 11/5.

Both teams to score @ 10/11

Both sides may be at their most vulnerable at the back with largely rejigged backlines since the last major tournament. With Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams expected to start on the flanks,

this should be a more exciting Spain than we saw at the World Cup, but it could be vulnerable defensively on the left flank and potentially at set piece situations.

Croatia have enough quality, particularly from dead balls, to cause problems for Luis de la Fuente’s side and I like the look of Both teams to score here at 10/11.

Pedri 2+ shots @ 7/4

Pedri didn’t have his best season at Barcelona with fitness concerns playing a part in that, but he looked sharp last weekend, scoring twice in the warm-up win over Northern Ireland to surely secure his place in the starting eleven for the Euro 2024 opener.

Spain fans will be hoping this is a timely return to form for a young player who excelled at the Euros three years ago. With Rodri and Fabián Ruiz operating as the deeper midfielders, he should get much more freedom to roam forwards for his country than is the case for his club.

The 21-year-old should be one of the main attacking weapons for the Iberians in this game and I’m using the #PickYourPunt tool to back Pedri to have 2+ shots at 7/4.

Spain 2-2 Croatia @ 14/1

This will be a good opening test for both sides and it has potential to be one of the better games on the opening matchday at Euro 2024. If Spain are going to go all in and back their young wingers to be difference makers, they will surely look to play on the front foot from the off.

Croatia are experienced campaigners though and with Modrić still pulling the strings in midfield, they should be capable of finding holes in this Spanish defence at times. Spain may have slightly the better of things, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the game ended level and I’m backing a 2-2 Draw at 14/1.

Betfred Match Offers:

£5 Bonus Bet

Place an In-Play bet of £10 or more odds of 1/2+ on Hungary v Switzerland or Spain v Croatia and get £5 in Free Bets to use In-Play on Italy v Albania.

Goal Fever

Throughout Euro 2024, Betfred are offering all customers a 25% cash bonus if your selected team in the Match Result market wins by 3+ Goals on selected matches. This is one of those games, so any bet on Spain or Croatia to win could see 25% winnings, should they do so by three or more.

Double Delight & Hat-Trick Heaven

This Spain vs Croatia game is also one for those who like a bit of a potential bonus in the first goalscorer markets. Should the player you bet on score first and subsequently go on to score a second in the match, we'll double the odds and if they get a hat-trick, we'll treble the odds!

Mark Sochon primarily covers Spanish football for us here at Betfred Insights and he'll be following the Spanish national side throughout the Euro's for us. You can check out his and all the other Football Betting Tips from our writing staff on our main Football hub page.

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