The UEFA Nations League semi-final matchups were announced on Wednesday. Netherlands have been drawn against Croatia in the first fixture, while Spain face Italy in the other semi-final game. Both matches will be played in June.
The Nations League semis will not include a two-legged affair. Instead, the Netherlands and Spain are set to host the two matches and the winners will advance straight to the final on June 18th. There will also be a third place playoff for the losing semi-final teams as well.
Koeman looking forward to Croatia matchup
Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman was asked about his future opponents following the draw. “It’s always tough against Croatia,” said Koeman. “It would’ve been just as tough against Spain and against Italy, but we’re looking forward to it because we know Croatia are a really strong team and we need to be at our best to reach the final.”
He also acknowledged Croatia’s solid midfield, but heaped praise on the entire squad. “It’s the whole team,” continued Koeman. “Of course, we know the midfield with players like [Luka] Modric. They’re playing at a high level. They’re still in a good way physically and it’s also about the intensity of the team.”
Croatia and the Netherlands have faced off only twice before, with both teams winning one game. The Orange previously collected a victory in a friendly match in 2008, but Croatia won a 1998 World Cup game as well.
Spain and Italy have long history
On the other side, Spain and Italy are very familiar with each other. The two European powerhouses have met 39 total times. Spain takes a slight advantage in the win department with 12 victories compared to Italy’s 11. The first matchup between the two teams was 99 years ago.
Both semifinal games will be broadcasted on FOX Sports and fuboTV here in the States.
UEFA Nations League Semi-Final Draw
Netherlands vs. Croatia in Rotterdam
Spain vs. Italy in Enschede
PHOTO: IMAGO / Pressinphoto
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