Our prediction for this Nations League match:
Croatia and Sweden go head to head at Stadion Maksimir in the UEFA Nations League round 3. The Croats did well to make it to the 2018 World Cup final, but they have been struggling at the start of the new Nations League campaign. Zlatko Dalic’s men experienced all sorts of problems at the back in back-to-back losses to France (2-4) and Portugal (1-4), but Sunday’s clash could be the turning point for the World Cup finalists.
The good news for the hosts is that Real Madrid ace Luka Modric returns to contention after overcoming his injury. The Swedes, on the other hand, have yet to find the net in the Nations League this season, and given the importance of the match for Croatia, home win should be considered. Seeing that experienced midfielder Gustav Svensson misses the match through suspension, we are tempted to put our money on Luka Modric and Co.
Highlighted Player (Luka Modric):
Luka Modric is regarded as one of the best central midfielders in world football. The Croatian ace is a product of Dinamo Zagreb’s youth school and it has to be noted that he played 94 league games for the Modri between 2003 and 2008. In 2008 he signed a six-year deal with Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £16.5 million.
Luka made his Tottenham debut on 16 August, 2008 in a 2-1 loss to Middlesbrough at Riverside Stadium. The Croatian star scored only 13 goals in 127 league appearances for the Spurs, but he is well known for his brilliant passing. In 2012 he signed for Real Madrid for a fee of £30 million and he made his debut against Barcelona in the 2012 Spanish Super Cup, return leg.
Modric quickly established himself as a first-team regular and, no doubt, he helped the capital club win two Champions League trophies (2013/2014, 2015/2016). You should bear in mind that he was named Croatian Footballer of the Year in 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2014.
Highlighted Team (Sweden):
Sweden are the most successful Nordic side on international stage having been present at major competitions since 1934. Blagult missed out on the 1952 World Cup trophy on home soil as they were beaten by star-studded Brazil side, while they finished in third place at the 1950 and 1994 tournaments, and finishing fourth on their second appearance in 1938.
As far as their European Championship record is concerned, Sweden also achieved their best result in front of home fans, reaching the last four in 1992, and they have since reached the quarter-finals at Euro 1994 in Portugal.
Anders Svensson and Thomas Ravelli are team’s most capped players with over 140 appearances each, but it is strikers Henrik Larsson and Zlatan Ibrahimovic that will go down as the most famous Swedish footballers in history. The later also leads the goalscoring charts with over 60 strikes for the national team and he is widely regarded as one of the most colourful characters, not only in Scandinavia, but in world football.