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Croatia vs. Italy: UEFA Euro 2024 Match Preview

As UEFA Euro 2024 approaches, one of the standout fixtures in the group stage is the highly anticipated clash between Croatia and Italy. Both teams have rich footballing histories and are known for their tactical acumen, making this match a must-watch. This encounter promises to be a thrilling contest featuring strategic battles, star players, and national pride.

Historical Context

Croatia and Italy have a storied history of encounters, often producing tightly contested matches. Both nations have enjoyed significant success on the international stage, with Italy being a four-time World Cup winner and Croatia finishing as runners-up in the 2018 World Cup. Their previous meetings have often been characterized by intense, tactical battles, adding to the excitement surrounding their Euro 2024 clash.

Team Profiles


Croatia enters Euro 2024 with a squad that combines experienced veterans with emerging talents. Known for their technical skill and tactical flexibility, Croatia will be aiming to build on their impressive performances in recent international tournaments.

Key Players:

  • Luka Modrić (Midfielder)
  • Ivan Perišić (Winger)
  • Marcelo Brozović (Midfielder)
  • Joško Gvardiol (Defender)

Manager: Zlatko Dalić


Italy, a perennial powerhouse in international football, brings a balanced and highly skilled squad to Euro 2024. Renowned for their defensive solidity and creative midfield play, Italy will look to assert their dominance and make a deep run in the tournament.

Key Players:

  • Ciro Immobile (Forward)
  • Marco Verratti (Midfielder)
  • Nicolò Barella (Midfielder)
  • Leonardo Bonucci (Defender)

Manager: Roberto Mancini

Tactical Analysis

Croatia’s Approach:

Croatia is expected to adopt a possession-based approach, leveraging their midfield strength led by Modrić and Brozović to control the tempo of the game. Perišić’s ability to create chances from the wings will be crucial in breaking down Italy’s defense. Defensively, Croatia will rely on the young but talented Gvardiol to keep Italy’s forwards at bay.

Italy’s Strategy:

Italy will likely focus on their traditional strengths of solid defense and quick transitions. Verratti and Barella will be key in controlling the midfield and initiating attacks, while Immobile will be tasked with converting chances into goals. Italy’s defensive duo of Bonucci and possibly Alessandro Bastoni will aim to neutralize Croatia’s attacking threats.

Key Battles

  1. Luka Modrić vs. Marco Verratti: The midfield duel between Modrić and Verratti will be central to the game’s outcome. Modrić’s creativity and vision against Verratti’s control and distribution will be a fascinating contest that could dictate the flow of the match.
  2. Ivan Perišić vs. Italy’s Full-backs: Perišić’s pace and dribbling on the wings will be a significant threat to Italy. How well Italy’s full-backs, potentially Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Leonardo Spinazzola, manage to contain Perišić will be crucial.
  3. Ciro Immobile vs. Joško Gvardiol: Immobile’s goal-scoring prowess will test Gvardiol’s defensive capabilities. Gvardiol’s ability to keep Immobile in check could be decisive in Croatia’s efforts to keep a clean sheet.


Predicting the outcome of this match is challenging due to the high quality of both teams. Italy might be seen as slight favorites due to their recent success and squad depth. However, Croatia’s tactical flexibility and individual brilliance make them a formidable opponent.

Possible Outcomes:

  • Italy Win: If Italy can leverage their defensive strength and midfield control, they are likely to secure a victory.
  • Croatia Win: If Croatia can dominate possession and exploit Italy’s defensive vulnerabilities, they have the potential to pull off a win.
  • Draw: A likely result if both teams play to their strengths and neither can gain a definitive upper hand.