France – Croatia: Faulty Croatia Succumbs To A Few Moments Of French Brilliance (4-2)
In a repeat of the 2018 World Cup final, France took a win by moments of technical brilliance and intense effective pressing, while they let Croatia dominate possession for significant periods. The guests appeared tactically prepared and ready to take advantage of France’s weaknesses in their experimental 3-4-1-2 formation, but a few mistakes in the second half led to the second heavy defeat in their second match of this edition of the UEFA Nations League.
Tactical analysis and match report by Thanos Chelas.
Didier Deschamps’ 3-4-1-2 formation experiment continued against Croatia. Having only two full days of rest after the match against Sweden, meant that a lot of changes in the first eleven had to be made. Hugo Lloris, N’Golo Kanté, Antoine Griezmann and Dayot Upamecano were the only ones keeping their spot in the first eleven as Wissam Ben Yedder and Anthony Martial found their way as the starting strikers. Moussa Sissoko and Ferland Mendy lined up as the wing-backs and Steven Nzonzi protected a center-back trio that also included Clément Lenglet and Lucas Hernández.
The Croatian head coach, Zlatko Dalić, also heavily rotated his team as he made six changes compared to the 4-1 defeat against Portugal. In their usual 4-3-3 formation, Dominik Livaković started between the posts, protected by a defensive line consisting of Filip Uremović, Dejan Lovren, Duje Ćaleta-Car and Dario Melnjak. Marcelo Brozović sat in front of them as the defensive midfielder, getting help from Mateo Kovačić and the more attacking-minded Nikola Vlašić. Andrej Kramarić was the lone striker, making dropping movements towards the ball in order to . . .