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Euros preview: Croatia vs Italy, Albania vs Spain

Croatia vs Italy

Football

Euros preview: Croatia vs Italy, Albania vs Spain

Euros preview: Croatia vs Italy, Albania vs Spain

Croatia vs Italy

Having earned just one point so far, after defeat to Spain and a draw to Albania, Croatia are at risk of exiting the Euros if they fail to win this one. But if they can take victory, they could knock Italy out.

Are the Italians too canny for this Croatia side? Tough to score against in previous competitions, in this tournament the Croats have already conceded five goals.

But reigning champions Italy were outclassed by Spain in their last game. Can they show improvement at the Leipzig Stadium? If Luca Spalletti’s side avoid defeat against Croatia they will finish the group stage as runners up.

Italy don’t have a great record against this opposition, though; in eight meetings since 1994, the Italians have failed to win a single match. Five of those games have ended in draws, with the last three meetings between these sides each ending 1-1.

That’s a result that would be perfectly acceptable for Italy, of course. It could be worth backing Spalletti’s side to do just enough, and you can back the draw at 11/5 – or the 1-1 correct score at 5/1.

Albania vs Spain

Albania earned a last gasp draw against Croatia in their second group game, but they may struggle to overcome a Spain side that have already qualified from Group B as winners.

Spain have won both their matches so far without conceding a goal.

Though Luis de la Fuente’s side only won 1-0 against Italy in their second round match, it was a pretty one-sided affair, Spain firing 17 shots against the Italians four (and just one on target).

Still, having already assured their place in the last 16, the coach is likely to make team changes here. Could that give Albania an opportunity to land an unexpected result at the Dusseldorf Arena?

Spain will definitely be without Rodri, suspended for this one; meanwhile, Albania’s Mirlind Daku has been awarded a two-game ban after leading his nation’s fans in derogatory chants aimed at Serbia and Macedonia.

Regardless, while victory remains a tall order for the Albanians, they still have the possibility of progressing as one of the four best third-placed sides. Still, even with rotation it’s tough to see beyond a Spain win here.

Maybe it’s worth backing Spain to win and under 3.5 goals in a double at 27/25.

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