Full of confidence after a dramatic 2-1 victory over England on the road, Spain will host Croatia in their UEFA Nations League opener that will take place at the Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero in Elche.
An awkward situation around Julen Lopetegui forced the Spain Football Association to fire him just a few days before the start of the World Cup, which eventually resulted in the Red Fury’s early elimination by the hosts Russia that left a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth. However, the new Spain coach Luis Enrique is determined to drive his side back to the top of the world’s football, and judging on their performance against the Three Lions, the former Barcelona boss is doing a fine job.
Meanwhile, the Blazers have played out a tight 1-1 draw with Portugal following a historic success in Russia where they won the silver medal, having lost 4-2 to France in the big final. The last time these two sides faced off against each other was at the 2016 European Championship, with Croatia defeating Spain by two goals to one, and Zlatko Dalic intends to implement the same strategy of his predecessor Ante Cacic.
Jordy Alba and Diego Costa are ruled out for the home side, with Marcos Alonso and Rodrigo Moreno expected to fill the gap, while Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic stand out as two most notable absences in the visiting squad.
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