Preview: Spain Under-21s vs. Croatia Under-21s

Preview: Spain Under-21s vs. Croatia Under-21s

Spain Under-21s square off against Croatia Under-21s on Saturday with the opportunity to book their place in the Under-21 Euro 2023 knockout stages.

Earlier this week, Spain cruised past co-hosts Romania on the same day that Croatia succumbed to a potentially-decisive defeat in Group B at the hands of Ukraine.

On a 14-match undefeated streak spanning over two years, Spain would not have minded who they faced in their first game in this tournament, yet a meeting with the co-hosts gave La Rojita the platform to make a statement.

Romania managed to withstand Spain’s superior quality during the first half, but goals from Alex Baena, Juan Miranda and Sergio Gomez after the break secured all three points.

Having played in front of over 21,000 people on Wednesday, the atmosphere will change for this contest, but Santi Denia will expect his players to pull off a similar kind of result.

The only two occasions in 15 fixtures where Spain have failed to score more than two goals in a single game came in the recent friendly stalemates with France and Mexico.

With four clean sheets also coming from six matches, there appears to be no weaknesses in this team ahead of facing opponents now low on confidence.

Croatia had been on a high having defeated England by a 2-1 scoreline on away territory in March, yet that shows that results in friendlies should not always be taken too seriously.

Mladi Vatreni lost their seven-game undefeated streak at the hands of a Ukraine side that were able to leave star man Mykhaylo Mudryk as an unused substitute and still prevail by a 2-0 scoreline.

Furthermore, Dragan Skocic’s side have now failed to score in two of their last four fixtures and scored just three goals during that period, the other coming at home to Austria.

Playing Romania, arguably the weakest team in the group, in their final fixture leaves Croatia with hope, but they can ill-afford to suffer defeat in Bucharest on Saturday.

Spain Under-21s European Under-21 Championship form:

Croatia Under-21s European Under-21 Championship form:

We say: Spain Under-21s 3-0 Croatia Under-21s
Regardless of whether Spain decide to rotate for this contest, this represents a stiff challenge for their opponents. Although Croatia may pose more of a challenge than Romania, we still expect Spain to storm to a dominant victory and book their spot in the last eight in the process.

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