After three matches in Group A1 of the Nations League the standings have an unfamiliar feel to it, with reigning champions France currently propping up the table in fourth, while Croatia are just a place above them, as current pace-setters Denmark lead the way alongside second-placed Austria.
Didier Deschamps has not enjoyed a succesful month by any stretch of the imagination, with his side currently winless after three games, including an opening-day defeat to Denmark, before enduring back-to-back 1-1s away to Croatia and Austria. Les Bleus now return home looking to change their fortunes.
For Croatia, it’s been a bit hit-and-miss as well, with the 2018 World Cup runners-up suffering a 3-0 reversal at the hands of Austria on matchday one, before picking up that aforementioned 1-1 with France and then most recently beating Denmark 1-0 — Zlatko Dalic will be aiming to build on that triumph.
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France vs Croatia match stats
Karim Benzema played like a man possessed in 2021/22 as Real Madrid reclaimed their La Liga throne and won a record-extending 14th European Cup, beating Liverpool in last month’s Champions League final. Incredibly, the Frenchman is the only player across the last two La Liga seasons to hit at least 50 goals (50) and 20 assists (21), showing both his prowess in front of the opposition net and his playmaking credentials.
15 Jul 2018 – France 4-2 Croatia – World Cup Final
29 Mar 2011 – France 0-0 Croatia – International Friendly
The key match-up here is of course the World Cup Final in 2018, in which France triumphed 4-2 thanks to goals from Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe, not to mention that Mario Mandzukic own goal. Four years on and both managers from that final are still in the hotseat, not to mention plenty of the players.
Where are France and Croatia tipped to finish in Group A1?