France – Croatia | 08/09/2020

France will be looking to make it two wins from their first two Group 3 games in the UEFA Nations League when they continue their 2020-21 campaign at home to Croatia on Tuesday night. Didier Deschamps’s side recorded a 1-0 win over Sweden in their tournament opener last time out, while Croatia suffered a heavy 4-1 loss to holders Portugal to drop to the bottom of the section.

In a repeat of the 2018 World Cup Final, France entertain Croatia in this UEFA Nations League (UNL) fixture after just one loss across their last 11 competitive matches (W9, D1, L1). A good start here could be decisive, especially as seven of those nine victories saw ‘Les Bleus’ ahead at HT.

France’s narrow 1-0 win in their opening UNL game continued a recent trend too, as each of their last four games in the competition have featured one first-half goal, with the two scored at home coming in the 14th minute precisely. In fact, five of their last six competitive home games have seen the opening goal scored during the opening 20 minutes.

Croatia were on a run of six-straight competitive games without a loss (W4, D2), when they finally lost 4-1 away to Portugal in their opening UNL fixture. This game could witness some late drama, as 2.0 goals on average were scored from the 70th minute onwards in each of Croatia’s last four UNL fixtures, a goalless draw excluded.

However, the visitors have won just one of their eight away games since their loss in the World Cup Final (W1, D3, L4), though six of those saw goals at both ends. Any win could be accompanied by a clean sheet however, as Croatia have kept one in each of their last seven competitive away victories.

France will be without the services of Mbappe for Tuesday’s contest as the Paris Saint-Germain attacker has been forced to withdraw from the squad after testing positive for coronavirus.

Mbappe immediately left the national team upon receiving the news and his absence could open the door for Manchester United attacker Anthony Martial to start in the final third of the field.

Deschamps said ahead of the clash with Sweden that he wanted to “work on several tactical schemes” before the Euros, and the world champions lined up in a 3-4-1-2 formation in Solna.

Paul Pogba and Tanguy Ndombele were both forced to withdraw from the France squad ahead of the Sweden match after testing positive for coronavirus, meaning that Adrien Rabiot could again be given the chance to make his mark in midfield alongside N’Golo Kante.


Date: 08/09/2020
Time: 21:45
Venue: Stade de France (Paris – Saint-Denis)
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