Scotland take on Croatia in their final Euro 2020 Group D fixture on Tuesday evening. It’s a must win for the Scots, who won’t progress with anything less than three points.
Steve Clarke’s men grinded out a solid 0-0 draw against England on Friday night. It could have easily been a win for the Scots at Wembley, had they been more clinical with their chances.
Nevertheless, it was an inspired performance from Scotland. They’ll need to reproduce that fighting spirit in this game if they’re going to get something from it.
Che Adams and John McGinn were standout performers in that game. It was also a fantastic showing from Chelsea youngster Billy Gilmour, who won the Star of the Match award.
Croatia find themselves in the exact same position as Scotland. Both nations will be England to beat Czech Republic to give them a chance of automatic progression.
The Croatians looked like they were going to lose to Czech Republic on Friday. They went behind in the first half courtesy of a Patrick Schick strike.
Zlatko Dalic’s men were much better in the second half though. Ivan Perisic’s wonderful strike levelled the scores and Croatia had chances to win the game, but were unable to take the lead.
That result now leaves them needing a win here. That makes this match an all out shootout, so it could be a memorable encounter.
Below, we’ll preview this Euro 2020 fixture and provide our predictions, the team news, our recommended bets and more…
Croatia vs Scotland Predictions
In a must win game for both teams, this could turn into a tense affair. That could benefit Scotland more, who will have the home crowd on their side at Hampden Park.
Croatia haven’t been overly impressive in any of their games so far. Bar the good 45 minutes in the second half of their game against Czech Republic, they’ve looked very beatable.
That will give Scotland plenty of heart. Their recent draw with bitter rivals England will also have given the nation and the team a huge boost.
Scotland carry plenty of attacking threat, especially down the left side through Andy Robertson and Kieron Tierney. They’ll be looking to exploit Croatia on the flanks and create chances for Che Adams.
Croatia have plenty of attacking threats of their own. Perisic is always a handful and will be looking to pin back the Scotland full backs, who will need to be wary of his quality.
AC Milan forward Ante Rebic is an industrial forward. He will be keeping the Scotland back line extremely busy throughout his time on the pitch. He tends to pop up in the box with smart runs, so he could be the one to break the deadlock.
Croatia are expected to be the ones who come out looking to win the game. Scotland’s best chance could come from trying to take advantage of set pieces.
Read on for our Croatia v Scotland predictions and best bets.
Croatia vs Scotland Head to Head
These two nations have met on five previous occasions. The first of which was a 1-1 draw in 2002 World Cup qualifying.
The reverse fixture in the same qualifying group ended in an uneventful 0-0 draw. The two teams then didn’t meet again until 2008, when they played out another 1-1 draw.
The last two meetings came in 2014 World Cup qualifying. Scotland won the first game 1-0 thanks to a first half Robert Snodgrass goal.
Snodgrass was on target again in the reverse fixture. He struck in the first half again that time. His goal was added to by Steven Naismith, who followed up Barry Bannan’s missed penalty to secure a solid 2-0 win.
It’s surprising that Croatia has never beaten Scotland. They will be favourites to do so in this game, but with a passionate Hampden Park crowd cheering on the Scots, anything can happen.
Croatia Team News – D L L D W
With everything to play for, Croatia will need to go full strength in this one. That will likely see Ante Rebic lead the line again. He’s yet to get off the mark at Euro 2020, but will be hoping he can do so here.
Ivan Perisic is also likely to be asked to start the game by Dalic. The Inter Milan forward has probably been Croatia’s best player so far in an underwhelming tournament for his nation.
Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic will be asked to marshall the midfield for Croatia. Our Croatia v Scotland predictions expect Luka Modric to partner the 27 year old in centre mid.
Dinamo Zagreb stopper Dominik Livakovic will start between the sticks. The 26 year old has conceded in each of his last four matches for Croatia.
Scotland Team News – D L W D W
Steve Clarke made some brave decisions for the game against England and it’s fair to say they paid off for Scotland.
Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay was part of the three man defence. It’s a role that the 26 year old has played several times for Scotland.
Tierney was also a part of that defence, his link up with Andy Robertson one the left side will be vital in this. Robertson is expected to play at left wing back as he did against England to great effect.
Billy Gilmour could find himself holding the midfield again after his impressive performance last time. Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn is also likely to be asked to sustain the link between the midfield and attack.
Che Adams continues to impress in a Scotland shirt. The Southampton forward will likely be partnered by Lyndon Dykes in a two man attack.
Croatia vs Scotland Betting Tips
Despite their poor showing at Euro 2020 so far, Croatia find themselves the favourites in this. The traders have them priced at 13/10 in our Croatia v Scotland match bets.
Scotland aren’t written off by any stretch of the imagination. The traders seem to agree, and have the home nation priced at 2/1 to win the game.
Games with a lot on the line in a major tournament can get tight. If you think this game will end all square, you can back the draw at 5/2.
With the home crowd on their side, and after their performance against England, there’s a feeling something special could happen here.