Croatia faces Scotland tonight in their last Group D match at Euro 2020 – and it is a simple equation for the Vatreni – win and advance to the last 16, draw or lose and it is all over.
If Croatia beats Scotland they will finish either second or third in the group. If Croatia finishes second in the group then they would know for sure where they are headed next, finishing third it is not so clear.
How Croatia can finish second in the group?
Croatia currently has 1 point after two rounds, the same as Scotland, whilst England and the Czech Republic, who play each other tonight, have 4 points.
It is clear Croatia can not win the group as either the Czech Republic or England will collect points tonight to put them out of reach. Finishing first in the group means facing the second-placed team from the group of death featuring France, Germany, Portugal and Hungary.
If England beat the Czech Republic then Croatia can finish second, but only if they end with a better goal difference. Croatia sits on -1 at the moment whilst the Czechs are +2.
If the Czechs and Croatia end on the same points in second place and the same goal difference then it comes down to goals scored and then who has received the fewer yellow or red cards.
Croatia currently has four yellow cards and the Czechs three.
If the Czechs and England draw then both would be on 5 points with the Czechs finishing first because of a better goal difference. Croatia with a victory over Scotland would be third and have enough points/goal difference to be one of the best four third-placed teams to advance.
Whoever finishes second in the group will meet the second-placed team in Group E. Currently Sweden (4 points) leads with Slovakia (3) second, Spain (2) and Poland (1). That match would take place in Copenhagen on 28 June at 6 p.m.
Finishing 3rd in the group
With victory tonight against Scotland, Croatia are definitely among the best four third-placed national teams, but they will most likely not know who their opponent is until the end of the group stage as it will depend on how everything pans out.
What is known though, if Croatia finishes third in the group they will have to face the winner of another group.
If it is Group C, it would mean facing the Netherlands in Budapest on 27 June at 6 p.m.
If could also be that they meet the winner of Group E (Sweden, Slovakia, Spain and Poland) in Glasgow on 29 June at 9 p-m.
Croatia and Scotland meet at 9 p.m. tonight at Hampden Park in Glasgow.