Ahead of their final game in Group B at Euro 2024, we dig into the Opta data with our Croatia vs Italy prediction and preview.

Croatia vs Italy Stats: The Key Insights

  • Italy are made favourites by the Opta supercomputer, winning this game in 39.5% of scenarios.
  • Since gaining independence in the early 1990s, Croatia are unbeaten in their eight meetings against Italy (W3 D5). Their last three encounters have all ended 1-1.
  • Since the group phase was introduced in 1980, Italy have lost their final group game in only one of their nine appearances at the European Championship (W6 D2), going down 1-0 against Republic of Ireland in 2016.

Croatia are staring down the barrel of early elimination, and need to win their final group game against Italy to have any hope of qualifying for the last 16 of Euro 2024.

Zlatko Dalić’s side have laboured to just one point from their opening two games, after they were beaten 3-0 against Group B leaders Spain, before conceding a last-minute equaliser against Albania.

They have played well in spells in both games so far, but they’ve looked lethargic and leggy for large portions of both their matches. That might not be a surprise, considering the age profile of their squad.

Against Albania, Dalic brought in Ivan Perisic, Josip Juranovic and Bruno Petkovic, which took the average age of Croatia’s starting XI up to 30 years and one day, the second-oldest team they had ever fielded at a major tournament.

In fairness, Croatia have “won” each of their two games on the expected goals count, so a return of one point from a possible six might seem harsh. They’ve already had more shots (38) and more shots on target (15) at Euro 2024 than they had in the entire Euro 2020 group stage (30 shots, 10 on target).

But the two goals they conceded against Albania were simple; goals that you just cannot afford to give away in a group stage where the margins are so tight. Those two goals took them to five goals conceded so far, only letting in more goals in two major tournament group stages, shipping six at Euro 2004 and six at the 2014 World Cup.

Although Italy only lost 1-0 to Spain last time out, they were absolutely dominated in that game. The Azzurri attempted their fewest shots in a Euros game on record (four) and landed just one of those on target.

The xG race chart of the game just shows how little they offered going forwards:

Spain v Italy xG race

A good job, then, that they overcame the fastest goal ever scored in the European Championship on Matchday 1, with Alessandro Bastoni and Nicolò Barella earning them a win after Albania’s Nedim Bajrami had made history.

Those three points are huge, and according to the Opta supercomputer, they mean Italy have a 87.6% chance of qualifying for the knockout stage. They’ve also never lost consecutive games at the European Championship.

Croatia vs Italy Head-to-Head

This will be Croatia and Italy’s third meeting at a major tournament, all taking place in the group stages. Croatia won 2-1 at the 2002 World Cup before a 1-1 draw at Euro 2012.

Since gaining independence in the early 1990s, Croatia are unbeaten in their eight meetings against Italy (W3 D5). Their last three encounters have all ended 1-1.

This will be Croatia’s fifth European Championship meeting against the current reigning champions, with each game coming in the group stage. They beat Denmark 3-0 in 1996, drew 2-2 with France in 2004, and lost 1-0 against Spain in 2012, before beating the Spaniards 2-1 in 2016.

Croatia vs Italy Prediction

Croatia vs Italy Prediction - Opta supercomputer

The Opta supercomputer makes Italy favourites for this one. Luciano Spalletti’s side won this match in 39.5% of its 10,000 pre-match simulations.

Croatia got the win they needed in just 32.1% of scenarios, while the draw, which would probably be enough for Italy to secure second place in Group B, occurred 28.4% of the time.

Croatia vs Italy Squads


Dominik Livakovic, Ivica Ivusic, Nediljko Labrovic, Borna Sosa, Domagoj Vida, Josip Juranovic, Josip Stanisic, Josip Sutalo, Josko Gvardiol, Marin Pongracic, Martin Erlic, Lovro Majer, Luka Ivanusec, Luka Modric, Luka Sucic, Marcelo Brozovic, Mario Pasalic, Martin Baturina, Mateo Kovacic, Nikola Vlasic, Andrej Kramaric, Ante Budimir, Bruno Petkovic, Ivan Perisic, Marco Pasalic, Marko Pjaca. 

Head coach: Zlatko Dalić


Alex Meret, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Guglielmo Vicario, Alessandro Bastoni, Alessandro Buongiorno, Andrea Cambiaso, Federico Dimarco, Federico Gatti, Gianluca Mancini, Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Matteo Darmian, Raoul Bellanova, Riccardo Calafiori, Bryan Cristante, Davide Frattesi, Jorginho, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Michael Folorunsho, Nicolò Barella, Nicolò Fagioli, Federico Chiesa, Giacomo Raspadori, Gianluca Scamacca, Mateo Retegui, Mattia Zaccagni, Stephan El Shaarawy. 

Head coach: Luciano Spalletti 

Croatia vs Italy Predicted Lineups

Croatia vs Italy predicted lineup 1
Croatia vs Italy predicted lineup 2

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