Spain vs. Croatia Prediction: Group of Death Begins

Written by: Greg Lea
Published June 13, 2024
6 min read
  • Spain are among the favorites to lift the Euro 2024 trophy in Germany next month

  • Croatia are well-established dark horses and they can never be written off

  • Both teams are part of the summer tournament’s so-called group of death 

Spain vs. Croatia Odds

The odds for Spain vs. Croatia are taken from the FanDuel Sportsbook. Head over to FanDuel and sign up today and get $200 in bonus bets with your initial winning wager. Check out our Euro 2024 Betting Guide for more info.

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Over 2.5+109
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Under 2.5-145
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Spain vs. Croatia - My Pick

Goals are likely to be on the cards when Spain and Croatia butt heads in their first game of Euro 2024. Go for over 2.5.

Bet on Over 2.5 (+109) at FanDuel 

Euro 2024 Spain vs Croatia Prediction

Spain Looking to Make Mark on Major Tournament Again

No nation has won the European Championship more often than Spain. Crowned kings of the continent for the first time in 1964, la Roja triumphed more recently in 2008 and 2012. They remain the only team to have won back-to-back editions of the continental competition. Since that latter success, though, Spanish soccer supporters have had little to cheer.

At the 2014 World Cup, Vicente del Bosque’s reigning champions crashed out in the group phase. At Euro 2016, World Cup 2018, and World Cup 2022, Spain went home after the round of 16. Only at Euro 2020 did they meet expectations, reaching the semi-finals before losing on penalties to eventual winners Italy.

Despite their underperformance over the last 12 years, Spain are among the favorites with the best online sportsbooks to lift the trophy this summer. Only England, France and Germany are available at a shorter price ahead of the big kick-off on Friday. 

That is despite the fact they have been drawn in the group of death alongside Italy, Croatia and Albania. It would be a shock if Spain did not make it through to the round of 16, but finishing second is a possibility and that would - theoretically at least - make for a harder path to the latter stages.

Luis Enrique departed as manager after the disappointment that was the Qatar World Cup, with Luis de la Fuente chosen as his replacement. The former manager of the Under-19 and Under-23 teams has little experience of working with top players at the senior level, while we will have to see whether he has the in-game nous to lead Spain all the way this summer.

He has made the side a little more direct since taking charge, but possession will still be at the center of Spain’s strategy as they seek to become European champions for a record fourth time.

Bet on Spain vs Croatia at FanDuel 

Croatia Are International Soccer’s Great Overachievers

Croatia made their very first appearance at a major tournament as an independent nation at the 1998 World Cup. Despite being novices on the big stage, they ended up finishing third that summer.

Croatia have also impressed in recent years. They were runners-up at the 2018 World Cup and claimed another bronze medal four years later in Qatar. They also finished second at the most recent edition of the Nations League.

Considering the country has a population of under four million, it is fair to call Croatia the greatest overachievers in the international game over the last two and a half decades. They will be looking to punch above their weight again this summer.

Curiously given their success on the world stage, Croatia have an ordinary record at the European Championship. They were eliminated by Spain in the round of 16 last time out and have never won a knockout game in the continental event.

A 2-1 victory over Portugal in a warm-up friendly on Saturday has raised hopes that Croatia can finally break that particular duck in Germany. First, though, they must get out of the most difficult of all six groups. A win here would put them in a commanding position, even after just one match.

Croatia, you feel, do not mind being underdogs. This is a team that is willing to suffer and has an enviable knack of staying in games and fighting back to cancel out deficits. That grit and resilience should serve them well on Saturday and beyond.

This Could Go a Long Way to Determining Shape of Group B

The expansion of the European Championship from 16 to 24 teams has led to a clunky format in which four of the six third-place finishers will advance to the knockout stage. It is probable that at least one team will go through with a record of one win and two defeats in the group phase.

That is why opening games like this one are so important. The winner will feel an immediate sense of the pressure having been reduced. It would also leave them in a solid position in the race to finish first in Group B at Euro 2024, which would bring with it a last-16 tie against a third-place finisher.

The main question mark over this Spain team is whether they will have enough of a cutting edge. Alvaro Morata will lead the line and his profligacy in front of goal has been an issue before. Yet the use of players like Nico Williams, Dani Olmo and Lamine Yamal gives Spain a directness and verticality that has often been lacking in recent competitions.

Croatia are still defined by their midfield trio, which will be made up this summer of Marcelo Brozovic, Mateo Kovacic and the peerless Luka Modric. Zlatko Dalic’s men struggled in offense at times in qualifying, but they have scored nine goals in their last three matches, including twice in that aforementioned triumph over Portugal.

Over 2.5 goals thus looks like a solid bet for Saturday’s showdown between Spain and Croatia in the German capital.

Looking for more Euro 2024 betting opportunities? Have a look at our curated list of the Best Euro 2024 Betting Sites or simply sign up at one of the sportsbooks below.

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How to Watch Spain vs. Croatia

  • Teams: Spain vs. Croatia

  • Location: Olympiastadion, Berlin, Germany

  • Date and Time: Saturday, June 15 at 2.00 PM ET

  • How to Watch: Fox Sports, fuboTV

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Greg Lea

Soccer Betting Analyst

Expertise:
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Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts.
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