Croatia require a draw in Bordeaux to be certain of joining Spain in the last 16, but they need to bounce back from Friday’s disappointment if they want to grab a point from high flying Spain.
Spain have been superb so far, they’ve managed to keep a clean sheet in both of their games and they also the join highest scoring fixture in the tournament, and they seem unstoppable.
Spain won their opening game against Czech Republic and will now face their toughest opponent in the group.
Croatia currently sit second with four points. They will struggle to get a point at least from Spain, knowing they could slip to third place and losing the automatic qualification spot.
That said, it is very unlikely that Croatia would fail to qualify even if they lose to Spain, with four third-placed teams also heading through.
Albania finished third in Group A with three points, and should Croatia end their group stage campaign with four in third place, they would need just one more third-placed team with fewer than four points in order to advance.
The Spain coach insists that him and his team still have a long way to go even though they have managed to qualify for the last 16 knockout stage.
“We achieved our first goal which was to qualify for the knockout stages,” he told reporters after Spain’s 3-0 victory over Turkey. “We had a good game that we controlled for 90 minutes.
“It has been difficult for us to score so far, but tonight we scored three goals. We must now turn to the third and final Group D match against Croatia.”
The Croatian boss, Ante Cacic is also aware that the encounter will be a tough one, since the game will decide the group leaders;
“This is the game that decides who will be first in our group. We are up against a quality side, the double European champions, a team full of quality, of players from Barcelona and Real Madrid. A team that know the game and take their chances. They have been playing big games like these for years.” he said.