Italy surprised many people after 1-1 vs Spain. Not so much because of the result but because of very good performance where they held Spain far from their goal and made several great chances from counterattacks in which they might score a couple.
Anyway, Prandelli said he’ll probably make some changes cause against Spain Italy played with sweeper and some sort of a 3-5-2 and 5-3-2 with full backs. I especially liked De Rossi who played exceptional match as a sweeper. He has incredible feeling for a game flow and great positioning skills. If i was Prandelli id definetly set di Natale instead of Balotelli who looks unmotivated, nervous… well, usual state of mind some would say. Croatia played a good 90 mins vs Ireland and won precious 3 points. However, they wont mean much if they dont win Italy cause in case of a draw they will have to get at least a draw against Spain and hope that Italy doesn’t beat their 3-1 vs Ireland in the last round. Or “simply” beat Spain. Anyway, croatian public is very satisfied by that win and imo people are overestimating it a bit. Ireland proved to be one of the poorest sides on this competition(or may i say, the weakest team here) and i believe that both Italy and Spain will beat them without much problems.
Croatian defensive line is the weakest link of this team, that was said a lots of times, even against Ireland they weren’t that good and midfield and strikers will have to do a lot to cover that. Think we will see a goal fest here, or at least 3 goals. It’s questionable how will Italy play now as a favourite but Croatia plays similar to Spain anyway so i don’t think there will be many changes. It will be very important for Azurri to exploit poor side backs of Croatia, especially on the left side and to make pressure on CB’s who are not in good form. Also, i doubt Croatia won’t score. Our offensive line looks very good, they are in a great form lately and Mandzukic and Jelavic will surely make a lots of problems for italian defense.