Spain U21 vs Croatia U21, KO: 19:45 Jun 24, 2023, Superbet Arena
Spain will be looking to maintain their fine start to the UEFA U21 Championships as they face Croatia in a Group B fixture. The Spaniards looked impressive in their opening fixture and should have the upper hand over Croatia.
Spain made an impressive start to their campaign as they claimed a 3-0 victory over co-hosts Romania. After being held goalless at the break, they came to life in the second half with goals from Alex Baena, Juan Miranda and Sergio Gomez giving them a comfortable win.
Having been considered as one of the favourites to go all the way this year, Spain’s performance against Romania showed they are ready to handle such expectations. Santiago Denia’s men breezed through the qualifiers and are currently on a 15-match unbeaten run across all competitions.
Spain are renowned for their free flowing attacking football at all levels and that quality was on display in their opening fixture. They also scored 37 goals during the qualifiers and given their multiple threats, are expected to be one of the most prolific teams in this competition.
In contrast to the Spaniards, Croatia began their campaign on a disappointing note as they suffered a 2-0 defeat to Ukraine. They saw more of the possession but struggled to create much in attack, finishing with just three attempts on target.
The result highlights how erratic Croatia have been in recent times as they needed a playoff victory over Denmark to secure a place in this tournament. Dragan Skocic’s men have now claimed just two wins and suffered two defeats in their last six matches across all competitions.
A major problem for Croatia is a lack of discipline at the back as they have kept just one clean sheet in their last seven matches across all competitions. In addition to this, they are also not particularly convincing going forward and have failed to score in two of their last three matches.
How the bookies view it
Spain are considered overwhelming favourites among the bookies with a win priced at 8/13 by Paddy Power. A victory for Croatia is valued at 19/4 by BetVictor, who is also offering odds of 29/10 for a draw.
Head to head
Spain have a 6-1 advantage from seven previous matches against Croatia. Both teams met during the knockout phase of the 2021 edition with the Spaniards claiming a 2-1 extra-time victory.
Players to watch
Abel Ruiz should continue to lead the line for Spain and could be worth keeping an eye on despite failing to score in the opening fixture. The Braga striker has seven goals in his last 10 appearances for the U21s and is priced at 6/5 by Unibet to find the net in Saturday.
While boasting an exciting attack, Spain have also shown some defensive solidity in recent times, keeping clean sheets in two of their last three matches. Aitor Parades and Jon Pacheco often partner in the heart of the defence and can lead the Spaniards to another clean sheet at 13/10 with Coral.
Anything else catch the eye?
Given Spain’s defensive solidity and with Croatia struggling for goals, a win to nil could be on the cards at 11/5 with Unibet. The Spaniards’ attacking prowess means a -1 handicap could also be considered at 9/5 with Paddy Power.
All the goals in Spain’s opening fixture came after the break, so the second half can be tipped as the highest scoring half at 11/10 with William Hill.
This match between Spain U21 and Croatia U21 will be played on Jun 24, 2023 and kick off at 19:45. Check below for our tipsters best Spain U21 vs Croatia U21 prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.