Croatia bid to avoid relegation from UEFA Nations League A when they host Portugal at Stadion Poljud in Split on Tuesday. Portugal lost top spot in League A Group 3 and now can’t overhaul France due to an inferior head to head record, but hosts Croatia could be relegated if they don’t win.
Croatia sit third in Group 3 but only on goals scored after losing to Sweden on Saturday. Zlatko Dalic’s side found themselves 2-0 down at the break after Dejan Kulusevski and Marcus Danielson goals. A late Danielson own goal proved to be only a consolation for a Croatia. It is now four defeats in five games in this UEFA Nations League campaign, which got underway with a 4-1 loss in Portugal. They then lost 4-2 in France despite Dejan Lovren’s early opener and Josip Brekalo’s second half equaliser. A 2-1 home win over Sweden followed, only for Croatia to then go down 2-1 at home to France. Vlasic cancelled out Antoine Griezmann’s opener, but Kylian Mbappe netted the winner for France 11 minutes from time. Centre-back Duje Caleta-Car sits this game out through suspension after a second booking of the campaign. He joins goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic, defender Domagoj Vida, midfielder Marcelo Brozovic and forward Bruno Petkovic in missing the game. Andrej Kramaric withdrew from the squad last week after being unable to train due to a positive coronavirus test. Dejan Lovren missed the Sweden game due to a suspension of his own, but returns to face Portugal. Full-back Filip Uremovic picked up an injury against Sweden and will face a late fitness test.
Portugal were in control of Group 3 prior to Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at home to France, which leaves Fernando Santos’ side set to finish in second spot. France have the better head to head record and will finish top regardless of the outcomes in the final games. Portugal won 4-1 against Croatia and 2-0 in Sweden in the opening round of UEFA Nations League fixtures as Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice to make it 101 goals for his country. Fernando Santos’ side drew 0-0 with France as the two sides settled for a point in Paris in the UEFA Nations League. Portugal held onto top spot in the group courtesy of a 3-0 home win against Sweden as Bernardo Silva opened the scoring with Diogo Jota bagging a brace. But they slipped to second place after N’Golo Kante’s goal for France proved to be the difference between the sides on Saturday in Lisbon. Fernando Santos has a full squad to choose from and could hand a start to in-form Liverpool forward Diogo Jota, who was a second-half substitute against France. Centre-back Pepe, however, is not in the squad due to injury. Portugal should bounce back from the weekend disappointment with a comfortable victory over Croatia, who are missing some key players.
PREDICTION : PORTUGAL WIN 2-1
ACCUMULATOR TIP : OVER 1.5 FT GOALS