Spain will play Croatia in their first match of the Euro 2024

Spain takes on Croatia in the opening game of what promises to be an exciting Group B at this summer's European Championship on Saturday in Berlin

(Football news) While Croatia has never advanced past the quarterfinals of this competition, Spain has won the European Championship three times and has advanced to the semifinals of Euro 2020.

Spain is a little underappreciated, but this brilliant team most definitely has what it takes to win this summer. England, France, Germany, and Portugal are considered the four favorites to win Euro 2024.

La Roja won the European Championship trophy in 1964, 2008, and 2012. They advanced to the Euro 2020 semifinals but lost to Italy, the eventual winners, on penalties. The two sides will face off again in Group B of the competition, with Albania also competing in a very competitive group. 

There is the possibility of advancing through the group stage with a third-placed finish, and it would be a surprise if all of Spain, Italy and Croatia were not present in the knockout round of the competition.

Spain will enter this match in strong form, having won their two June friendlies, beating Andorra 5-0 and Northern Ireland 5-1, while they drew with Brazil at the end of March.

Luis de la Fuente’s side will tackle Italy in their second Group B fixture on June 20, before finishing their section against Albania four days later, and every point is likely to be crucial in this group.

Spain have won six of their previous 10 matches against Croatia, including a penalty-shootout success when the two teams last locked horns in the final of the 2022-23 UEFA Nations League.

Croatia’s last win over Spain also came in the UEFA Nations League back in November 2018, while these two sides met in the last-16 stage of Euro 2020, with Spain winning 5-3 after extra-time.

Vatreni’s recent World Cup record is incredibly impressive, finishing as the runners-up in 2018, before claiming third at the 2022 competition in Qatar.

However, the national side have been knocked out in the round of 16 in their last two European Championship appearances, while their best-ever performance in the competition came in 1996 and 2008, when they reached the quarter-finals.

Croatia will enter this match full of confidence, having been victorious in each of their last six matches in all competitions, including a standout 2-1 victory over Portugal in a friendly last time out.

Zlatko Dalic’s side have only lost two of their last 10 matches in all competitions, while they have scored nine times in their last three games.

Kockasti will certainly be aware of the size of the task facing them in this section, but the national team will be expecting to pick up enough points to advance to the next stage, even if that means settling for third.

Also read: Germany thrash Scotland in the opener of the Euro 2024


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