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UEFA EURO 2024 Group Stage : Italy vs Croatia Match Preview and Lineups

UEFA Euro 2024 Group Stage

25 June, 2024 - Indian Date

Leipzig Stadium

MATCH TIMES

India

12:30 AM

UAE

11:00 PM

Saudi Arabia

9:45 PM

LIVE INFO


Predicted Lineups:

Italy possible starting lineup: Donnarumma; Darmian, Bastoni, Calafiori, Dimarco; Fagioli, Barella; Chiesa, Pellegrini, Zaccagni; Retegui

Croatia possible starting lineup: Livakovic; Stanisic, Sutalo, Gvardiol, Sosa; Modric, Sucic, Kovacic; Pasalic, Budimir, Kramaric

Match Preview

Zlatko Dalic's Croatia is facing a do-or-die match against Italy on Monday in Euro 2024. With only one point from their first two games—a 2-2 draw with Albania and a heavy 3-0 loss to Spain—Croatia must secure a victory to keep their tournament hopes alive. Dalic has pointed to an ageing squad and defensive frailties as key reasons for their struggles, with the team conceding five goals in their first two matches.

Croatia's historical resilience in group stages has faltered this time. They haven't failed to win a group stage match in a major tournament since the 2006 World Cup, but they have conceded more goals in this Euro's group stage than in any since Euro 2004 and the 2014 World Cup, where they also conceded six goals.

Dalic has been vocal about the defensive issues plaguing his team: "We haven't started well. We haven't been up to our usual standards because we've been conceding too many goals," he remarked. This stands in stark contrast to their performance in the 2022 World Cup group stage, where they conceded only once.

Despite the team's defensive woes, the Croatian midfield, featuring veterans like Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic, Mateo Kovacic, and Ivan Perisic, has shown glimpses of its class. Modric, in particular, has been a standout, completing 64 passes in the final third against Albania, the second-highest in a European Championship match since 1980. His appearance in that game marked his 34th across Euros and World Cups, a milestone achieved by few European players.

However, individual brilliance has not translated into victories for Croatia. They have been creating opportunities, with more shots and shots on target (38 shots, 15 on target) compared to their Euro 2020 group stage performance, but have struggled to convert these into goals and wins. Dalic underscored the significance of the match against Italy: "We know it's essentially a knockout match tomorrow, and there won't be any extra time. We must simply win the game."

Acknowledging the disappointment of Croatian fans, especially after the defeat to Spain, Dalic apologized and recognized the imperative to deliver a positive result: "There is pressure for us to put a smile on their faces, to try to get a good result for our country. We need to show our true level."

As Croatia prepares to face Italy in Leipzig, Dalic and his squad are focused on rectifying their course, aiming to demonstrate their true potential and secure a crucial victory to progress in Euro 2024.

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