Croatia vs. Italy – Euro Cup 2024 Match Prediction

Croatia and Italy will battle for second place in Group B at Euro 2024 in a Monday night match in Leipzig. Italy only needs a draw to secure a spot in the last 16, while Croatia must win and hope Albania doesn’t beat Spain, the group winners.

Croatia’s coach, Zlatko Dalic, has the option to make several changes to his lineup, with all 25 remaining players having trained over the weekend, except for Torino forward Nikola Vlasic, who left the camp due to injury. Bruno Petkovic might be replaced by Ante Budimir up front, and former Inter Milan midfielder Marcelo Brozovic could be dropped for the younger Luka Sucic, who is 21.

Captain Luka Modric is a guaranteed starter, especially after his impressive performance against Albania, where he made his 34th major tournament appearance. He completed 64 passes in the final third, the second-most in a single game at the Euros. Modric will team up with Mateo Kovacic in midfield, while Kovacic’s Manchester City teammate Josko Gvardiol will likely continue in central defense. Either Borna Sosa or veteran winger Ivan Perisic will play at left-back.

Italy is also expected to make changes after lackluster performances by Gianluca Scamacca, Jorginho, and Giovanni Di Lorenzo against Spain. Matteo Darmian, Bryan Cristante, and Genoa striker Mateo Retegui are potential replacements. Young midfielder Nicolo Fagioli is also an option, despite being sidelined most of last season due to a betting ban.

Italy’s squad was hit hard by injuries before the tournament, and now Federico Dimarco’s availability is in doubt due to a bruised calf, possibly necessitating Darmian’s involvement. Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, voted player of the tournament at Euro 2020, will captain the Azzurri.

Inter pair Alessandro Bastoni and Nicolo Barella are also certain starters. Donnarumma, at 25 years and 120 days, is set to become the youngest goalkeeper to make 10 European Championship appearances, breaking the record by nearly three years.

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