Portugal – Croatia: Dominant Portugal Offer Little Chance For Croatia (4-1)
Portugal began the battle for prolongation of their Nations League title with a convincing well-rounded display. The array of attacking talent at their disposal overwhelmed Croatia. The combination of their dynamic front players with the support of their marauding fullbacks proved too much. Their organized defensive shape was also enough to stifle Croatia’s ball progression and chance creation. Croatia’s late effort for consolation was the only smudge on an otherwise dominant showing from Portugal.
Tactical analysis and match report by Julian Chingoma.
Portugal were without starman Cristiano Ronaldo as the forward was ruled out due to an apparent infection. His absence would draw eyes to the frontline that Fernando Santos would name. The Portugal manager opted for the front three of Diogo Jota, João Félix and Bernardo Silva to spearhead Portugal’s 4-3-3 shape. Behind them was the midfield of João Moutinho, Danilo Pereira and Bruno Fernandes. The latter would serve as the most attacking of the trio. The backline consisted of João Cancelo, Pepe, Rúben Dias and Raphaël Guerreiro ahead of Anthony Lopes in goal.
Croatia manager Zlatko Dalić named a 4-2-3-1 formation. Dominik Livaković was the man tasked with protecting the Croatian goal. The defensive line that was deployed consisted of Tin Jedvaj, Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida and Borna Barišić. Croatia lined up with the double pivot Two central midfielders next to each other. of Mario Pašalić and Mateo Kovačić in midfield. Ante Rebic and Josip Brekalo were the men out wide as Nikola Vlašić operated more centrally in support of Andrej Kramarić.
Portugal’s play in possession
Out of their 4-3 . . .