When: Tuesday, June 22, 20:00 BST
How to watch: ITV4
Will either team make it through?
Both Croatia and Scotland are yet to win a game at the delayed Euro 2020 tournament and both sit on a solitary point ahead of their vital clash at Hampden Park on Tuesday.
Croatia opened their campaign with a disappointing 1-0 loss to group favourites England in which they offered very little. They followed that loss with a 1-1 stalemate with Czech Republic, with Ivan Perisic bagging Croatia’s only goal so far.
Scotland also began their adventure with a defeat, this time at the hands of the Czech Republic with a Patrik Schick double downing them. A much-improved performance followed for Steve Clarke’s men at Wembley against England with them coming away from Wembley with a thoroughly deserved point.
Given Scotland’s inferior goal difference to Croatia, they must win on Tuesday to stand any chance of getting out of the group. If England and Czech Republic finishes level and Scotland win, the Tartan Army should progress as one of the four third-placed teams.
Last three matches:
Scotland 2-0 Croatia (World Cup qualifier – October 15, 2013)
Scotland will take heart from the fact the last time they faced Croatia at Hampden Park, they came away victorious. Croatia’s team also featured some names that will line up on Tuesday night including Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic and Dejan Lovren.
Although it was the last game of an unsuccessful qualifying campaign for the home team, the win provided the Scots with optimism for the future.
Robert Snodgrass opened the scoring with a headed effort and Steven Naismith capped the scoring in the second half, following up from a missed penalty from Barry Bannan.
Croatia 0-1 Scotland (World Cup qualifier – June 7, 2013)
Scotland put in arguably their best away performance in years in this one to beat Croatia, who were ranked as number four in the world at the time.
The win was Scotland’s first of the qualifying campaign and it was Robert Snodgrass who was the man of the moment. The winger latched onto a loose ball to finish past the Croatia goalkeeper midway through the opening period.
Croatia were kept quiet and goalkeeper Alan McGregor was not called into significant action, highlighting Scotland’s dominance.
Scotland 1-1 Croatia (International Friendly – March 26, 2008)
A competitive friendly that boasted seven yellow cards and plenty of goalmouth action saw George Burley’s reign as Scotland boss get off to a positive start against a talented Croatia outfit.
Scotland found themselves a goal down after ten minutes when Portsmouth maestro Niko Krancjar received the ball on the edge of the penalty area and beat Craig Gordon in the Scottish goal.
Croatia understandably dominated possession but Scotland stuck in there and got their rewards after half an hour.
Kenny Miller ran on to a Steven Fletcher pass and, from a tight angle, levelled the scoring thanks to a heavy deflection off Josip Simunic.
Croatia wins: 0
Scotland wins: 2
Croatia goals: 2
Scotland goals: 5
Croatia looking to put tournament experience to use
Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic guided the country to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final, where they would eventually lose 4-2 to France.
Many players from that squad remain at the manager’s disposal and so they will be seeking to make use of their experience and qualify for the round of 16.
Players such as Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic and Dejan Lovren were just some of the names that impressed in 2018 and they will be looking to rediscover that form this time round too, otherwise elimination could be on the horizon.
Scotland are still dreaming
There is no doubt that prior to the tournament Scotland were not expected to challenge the top two spots in the group, however their fate lies in their own hands with one game of the group stage remaining.
Nothing less than a win will do for Steve Clarke’s men, who have impressed since the former West Brom boss took over in 2019.
The Scots will take confidence from their much-improved display against rivals England in their second match.
If they go into this game with the same attitude there is no reason why Scotland cannot join England and Wales in qualifying for the knockout stages.
As both teams require a positive result, plenty of goals could arrive on Tuesday night. Both managers will also look to line up with their strongest available side given the circumstances.
Although Scotland have yet to score, they have threatened down their left-hand side throughout the tournament.
Perhaps an outside bet, but one that has logic behind it, is Andrew Robertson to score.
He plays in a more advanced role for his country than he does for Liverpool and he will look to get in behind Croatia’s hot-headed right-back Sime Vrsaljko on every possible occasion.
Ivan Perisic grabbed his first goal of the Euro’s with an excellent effort against Czech Republic. He is a confidence player and can be backed at 2/1 to score anytime versus Scotland.