Croatia's Euro Cup Performance Prediction

Croatia's Euro Cup Performance Prediction

This year's Euro Cup is likely to be the final performance of Croatia's golden generation led by Modrić. After all, Modrić is already 38 years old this year, and whether he can participate in the World Cup two years later is a huge question mark. It's uncertain if the Blazers, who have brought huge surprises in the last two World Cups, still have the energy to create their best historical result in the Euro Cup and play their symphony again.

Historical Performance:

Compared to the World Cup, Croatia's performance in the Euro Cup has been slightly inferior. They reached the semifinals three times in the World Cup, but they have never reached the semifinals in the Euro Cup. Their best results were only reaching the quarterfinals in 1996 and 2008. The last-minute equalizer against Turkey in 2008 was truly a classic moment. In the recent two Euro Cups, Croatia hasn't been lucky. They were eliminated in the round of 16 by Portugal and Spain respectively, so they exited early. The goal fest against Spain in the last Euro Cup was particularly memorable.

Team's Current Situation:

After surprisingly finishing third in the 2022 World Cup, Croatia has maintained a decent form. They almost won their first major championship. However, they lost on penalties to Spain in last year's UEFA Nations League final, perhaps missing their last chance for a championship. Although this championship doesn't carry much weight. In the Euro Cup qualifiers, they finished second behind Turkey but still managed to qualify.

Predicted Squad:

In goal, Livaković remains the main goalkeeper, although strangely he hasn't joined any of the top five leagues since the World Cup and is currently playing for Fenerbahçe. His backup will be Rabrović.

In defense, Sosa will be the left-back, having transferred from Stuttgart to Ajax this season. However, it's awkward because Stuttgart has significantly improved this season, while Ajax has declined.

Manchester City's stalwart defender Gvardiol will surely be the defensive core, and he can also play as a left-back. The other center-back position is less certain, with Ajax's Shuelo, Sassuolo's Soša, Lecce's Pongračić, and veteran Vida are all potential candidates. The starting right-back will be either Leverkusen's Stanišić or Berlin United's Juranović.

In midfield, Modrić is undoubtedly the absolute core. This will be his last Euro Cup, and it remains to be seen what kind of brilliant performance he can deliver. Brozović, who has transferred to Al Nassr and become teammates with Cristiano Ronaldo, will still partner with Modrić to defend the Croatian midfield.

They will undoubtedly be the mainstays of the defensive midfield. In addition, Manchester City's midfielder Kovačić will also be a key player. The versatility of Torino's Vlašić and Wolfsburg's Majer will enrich Croatia's midfield structure.

Atalanta's Pašalić will also be a good backup. On the left flank, Perišić, the "Mr. Big Game", has been sidelined since returning to the Croatian league recently due to injury, but if he recovers, he will still have his place. Fenerbahçe's Ivanušec and Rijeka's forward Pjaca can also replace him.

In the forward line, Osasuna's Budimir has been the biggest surprise. The 32-year-old Croatian forward has scored 16 goals in La Liga this season, currently tied for first place in the top scorer list with Belingham, making him highly likely to win the La Liga Golden Boot! Hoffenheim's forward Kramarić can play as a striker or an attacking midfielder. Petković from Dinamo Zagreb, who plays for a local Croatian team, could be a substitute striker for the team.

Team Coach:

Coach Dalić is undoubtedly Croatia's best coach in history. Since taking over the Blazers in 2017, Croatia has finished as runners-up and third place in two World Cups, which is nearly perfect for a small country with only 4 million people. His goal this time should be to reach at least the quarterfinals or even the semifinals of the Euro Cup.

Team Performance Prediction: Round of 16 or Quarterfinals

For an aging Croatian squad, it's quite challenging to replicate the miracle of the World Cup. There haven't been many young faces emerging in the midfield and forward positions, but the defense led by Gvardiol is still trustworthy. Making it to the round of 16 is highly probable, but whether they can reach the quarterfinals or even the semifinals is not very optimistic. Personally, I hope Croatia can reach the quarterfinals.

Other European Cup predictions

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