Croatia host Portugal in a must-win Nations League match for both sides on Tuesday at 7:45pm (UK time).
Zlatko Dalic’s side have suffered a horrendous Nations League campaign so far, taking just three points from five games to leave them level with Sweden at the bottom of Group A3. Croatia are seven and 10 points adrift of Portugal and France, respectively, and cannot qualify for the finals tournament in October 2021.
However, the Nations League has been designed to keep games competitive for as long as possible and that is exactly the case here, with Croatia still needing to pick up a win against Portugal to ensure they don’t slip below Sweden and suffer relegation to Group B.
Portugal, meanwhile, need three points for a whole different reason. Despite losing just one of their five games so far, the defending Nations League champions sit three points adrift of group leaders France and simply must win if they’re to stand any chance of retaining their crown.
Even if Fernando Santos’ men do beat Croatia, their destiny is not in their own hands, with Portugal reliant on Sweden also beating France in the other Group A3 match.
Regardless of what happens, we should be in a for an intriguing night of football between two strong sides both hunting for the win.
Where to watch Croatia vs Portugal on TV:
- UK: Sky Sports Red Button
- US: ESPN2
Where to live stream Croatia vs Portugal:
US ONLY: Fubo* are streaming a selection of Nations League fixtures live for account holders. Those without a Fubo account already can take advantage of their seven-day free trial by following the simple steps below.
- Click on this link.
- Click ‘Start Your Free Trial’ and enter your details.
- Log in and pick your desired channel to watch.
*Geo restrictions apply. Fubo is currently available in the United States, Canada and Spain. Packages and pricing differ per country.
Croatia & Portugal’s previous line-ups:
- Croatia (vs Sweden): Livakovic; Uremovic*, Pongracic, Caleta-Car*, Barisic; Modric, Kovacic; Brekalo, Vlasic, Perisic; Budimir.
- Portugal (vs France): Patricio; Cancelo, Fonte, Dias, Guerreiro; Carvalho, Pereira, Fernandes; Silva, Ronaldo, Felix.
Duje Caleta-Car is suspended after his yellow card against Sweden while Filip Uremovic picked up a knock in that game and is doubtful. Dejan Lovren looks set to return, but that could be of little consolation to Dalic, who remains without Andrej Kramaric, Marcelo Brozovic and Domagoj Vida.
Renato Sanches came off injured during a friendly against Andorra last week and remains doubtful for this tie. With Portugal heavily reliant on France slipping up against Sweden, it remains to be seen whether or not Santos will field his strongest XI.
Players to watch:
- Croatia: After scaling the World Cup heights in 2018 by reaching the final, it’s been a struggle for Croatia over the past two years, with that squad which defied the odds in Russia largely breaking up. One man who has stepped up for Dalic, however, is Nikola Vlasic. Once of Everton, the now-CSKA Moscow man has been in fine form for club and country in recent months, proving himself as a proficient creator and scorer of great goals. Vlasic is the only Croatia player with more than one goal (two) in the Nations League this season and will need to bring his A-game if they’re to pull off an unlikely win against Portugal.
- Portugal: Santos decided against starting in-form Liverpool forward Diogo Jota for their crunch-match against France on Saturday and, unsurprisingly, has come in for plenty of criticism for doing so. Even if Portugal beat Croatia, that might not be enough, but given that Jota has eight goals and an assist in his last 10 games for club and country combined, you can bet Santos will field him from the start in this one. This makes even more sense when you consider the 23-year-old found the net in a 4-1 win for Portugal the last time these two sides met back in September.
UEFA Nations League recent form:
- Croatia: LLWLL
- Portugal: LWDWW
Scoreline prediction: Croatia 0-2 Portugal
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