Euro 2024 – Croatia vs Albania | Match Info, Preview & Lineup

With both teams needing a win, Croatia and Albania face off in Hamburg on Wednesday afternoon, determined not to fall further behind in Group B.

After losing their Euro 2024 openers last weekend, both teams are eager to keep their tournament hopes alive. Croatia’s coach, Zlatko Dalic, might shake things up after their sluggish start against Spain. 

Manchester City’s Josko Gvardiol could return to central defense, possibly replacing Marin Pongracic, while Borna Sosa might come in at left-back. There’s also talk of dropping Marcelo Brozovic to give Luka Sucic or Mario Pasalic a chance in midfield.

Even though Luka Modric only played 65 minutes, he made the most line-breaking passes (13) in Saturday’s game, and he’ll be crucial again for the Vatreni. The front three is expected to stay the same, despite Bruno Petkovic missing a penalty, especially since veteran winger Ivan Perisic isn’t fully fit after a long injury layoff.

Torino forward Nikola Vlasic is out for the rest of the tournament due to a minor muscle tear, as revealed by an MRI scan following an injury in training.

On the Albanian side, Jasir Asani, who had been a doubt due to an ankle problem, has been declared fit by coach Sylvinho. Arber Hoxha, who plays for Dinamo Zagreb, will likely remain a substitute. Up front, either Rey Manaj or Chelsea’s Armando Broja will lead the attack, since regular starter Sokol Cikalleshi retired from international play after being left out of the squad.

Euro 2024 - Croatia vs Albania | Match Info, Preview & Lineup
Nedim Bajrami, who has been involved in at least one goal in each of his last three appearances, will support the central striker. The Sassuolo playmaker was a key figure in qualifying, scoring a team-high three goals in seven starts.