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UEFA Nations League: What To Expect

September 10, 2018




Croatia kick off their UEFA Nations League campaign Tuesday in Elche when they take on 2010 World Cup champions Spain at 2:45PM (ET). The match can be seen on ESPN2 in the States.



The Vatreni are coming off a dream run at the World Cup which saw them only lose in the Final, to France, 4-2. Outside of that, Croatia have not lost another competitive match in 2018; only losing to Peru and Brazil in friendlies.



So what should we expect against Spain on Tuesday? And more importantly, what should we expect from Croatia in UNL the next three months?



You will hear me say this a million more times before Christmas about the Croatian national team: they need to keep the momentum from the World Cup going!



The World Cup is now two months in the rearview mirror. And everything the team built in the summer can implode on itself just as quickly if they don’t get results against Spain and England.



So they have to keep the winning tradition alive because the Vatreni now have a target on their back. Not only does their World Cup Finals appearance add to that, but Croatia just beat England in the semifinals and defeated Spain 2-1 last time the two met in France during Euro 2016.



This will be new territory for Croatia as the whole world will be watching what they do next. Remember what happened to the 1998 Croatia team, who finished third at the World Cup? They didn’t even qualify for Euro 2020.



So Dalić and company have to keep their foot on the pedal and show the world that Russia 2018 was no fluke.



As for the match on Tuesday against Spain, a win would be huge and would shake things up in the UNL group as Spain already defeated England at Wembley on Saturday. With Kramarić and Rebić out, and the Croatian strike force currently paper thin, there would be nothing wrong with a draw Tuesday night on Spanish soil.



But once again…keep the momentum going!



I expect a draw or better against Spain and see Croatia fighting for top spot in the group. Finishing third and being relegated out of League A would be a bit ‘cringy’ for this team after what they did at the World Cup.



Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 12 comments

  1. Soul Champ says:

    @ Ante

    Count me in on the team “keeping the winning FLOW.”

    Croatia has a style all its own now.

    I am more interested in playing well and allowing our quality to continue to be showcased.

    Rakitic on 100th cap is going to play great .. plus he is built for games against Spain.

    Brozovic is a revelation.

    Perišić has been in the mood for the last 3 months.

    Livaja – Pjaca have it all to prove.

    Kalinic will always keep us in it, he also is eyeing a big time move, At Spain shut out ? That will get the transfer wheel moving.

    Kovačić will come in early in the second half and play great.

    Čop knows la Liga.

    Listen this could have been at South Korea.

    No matter what we are ahead with the UNL.

    I will say this .. the “elite” of world of football still subtly need to recognize.

    UNL title would be another statement.

  2. The truth says:

    I think Croatia is likely to get beat up tomorrow against Spain and are most likely to finish third in this group and get relegated

  3. Bobby V says:

    Perisic can’t do it all by himself. This Nations League doesn’t bode well for us. Someone else needs to help provide/score goals.

  4. Crnkovic says:

    Brekalo is really doing well. He’s not a striker though. He’s a winger. His understanding with sosa is fantastic

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