We reviewed Group A of Euro 2020 yesterday, along with our sister website offering football updates about Group B. And now, after previews of Group C too, we’re here with our first Euro 2020 Group D team preview – Croatia.
Massive changes have occurred since Croatia’s World Cup final appearance in 2018. Despite these, Croatian fans are optimistic that their squad will be a contender for European Championship gold.
These fans see their country’s team quite subjectively, as they always do and should.
Regardless, Croatia can be regarded a dark horse for the tournament, even though it isn’t a clear favorite to win.
Croatia aren’t the favorites for the title, but they’re also not the underdogs. As a result, they precisely fit the concept of a dark horse.
So, for Euro 2020, just as they were three years ago, Croatia could be a surprise element.
Euro 2020 Group D Team Preview – Croatia
There has been a generational shift within the group. This is because only three of their starting XI from the Moscow final have participated in recent games.
After the last major tournament, names like Mandzukic, Subasic, and Rakitic retired from international competition.
However, manager Zlatko Dalic has done an excellent job of introducing a new generation of players, particularly youthful talent.
Croatia performed admirably in Euro 2020 qualification, finishing first in their group despite losing to Wales, Hungary, and Azerbaijan.
Now, Dalic will strive to re-establish the team’s cohesion and energy following the World Cup.
He will hope that his strategy of blending experienced and young players combined with his man-management magic pays off.
This strategy, he must be hoping, will prove to be the perfect one for a successful end result.
The more experienced will draw on their knowledge, but the young and brilliant will need to discover genuine motivation to succeed.
Another ulterior motive to perform well is that these Croatian stars have scouts from major European clubs watching them.
And a successful tournament would result in a new and more profitable move for the majority of them.
Finally, Croatia will need the same team spirit as they did at the last World Cup. They will also need more than one player to step up and have the tournament of his life.