51 mins: It’s getting feisty at the Stade de France. Brozovic is cautioned for cynically fouling Nkunku as he surges forward, with the pair squaring up in the aftermath.
We’re back under way. Can France turn things around here? Can Austria launch an unlikely comeback against Denmark? Can one of Iceland or Israel get the upper hand? Let’s find out.
The whistle goes at the Stade de France and Croatia go in with a deserved 1-0 lead. Denmark are cruising 2-0 against Austria while Iceland have been pegged back by Israel having gone ahead through Thorsteinsson early on.
45 mins: Nkunku wins a corner on the right and Lucas Digne gets on the end of it, lashing a shot at goal which is deflected over the crossbar. At the second corner, Digne pops up again but, this time, he hits the side netting from a narrowing angle.
Denmark are in the ascendancy at Parken, Andreas Skov Olsen extending their lead.
Israel are back on terms in Reykjavik with an own goal from Daniel Leo Gretarsson leveling the scores.
31 mins: Josip Juranovic gets forwards on the left and whips a cross to the onrushing Budimir in the box. He tries to head it back for a teammate when, had he tried to direct it on target, it might have caused Maignan problems.
28 mins: Mbappé is doing his best to make something happen for France, hugging the left sideline in an attempt to stretch Croatia’s defence. After lots of hustle and bustle in attack, Nkunku works an opening and sends a shot whistling past the near post from distance.
Over at Parken, Denmark have been by far the better side and have been rewarded for their efforts with an opening goal via Jonas Wind.
17 mins: France are all over the place at the moment, Maignan rushing off his line and making a risky challenge on Budimir before sliding in on Josip Brekalo outside the area and eventually bundling the ball clear.
Soon afterwards, Guendouzi is booked after barreling into Brekalo with a raised elbow. It’s been an erratic start for the hosts, to say the least. If they intended to play a 4-4-2, it has quickly become a 4-3-3 with Mbappé and Nkunku either side of Benzema. It’s not really working, on current evidence.
We’ve got a goal in Reykjavik, where Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson has given Iceland an early lead against Israel.
Modric hits the penalty with force and, while Mike Maignan gets a hand to the ball, the France goalkeeper fails to push it round the post. Croatia have an early lead.
Ibrahima Konaté appears to lightly clip Ante Budimir’s heel at a corner and, three minutes in, Croatia have a spot kick. Modric steps up…
We’re under way at the Stade de France and Parken. Oh, and in Reykjavik where, don’t forget, Iceland are playing Israel in a truly epic League B, Group 2 top-of-the-table clash.
Meanwhile, in Copenhagen, it looks like Austria are fielding an old-school 4-4-2 against Denmark’s trademark 3-4-2-1. No doubt Mike Bassett is delighted.
Didier Deschamps looks to have switched formation this evening, with France set to line up in a 4-4-2 with Mbappé and Karim Benzema up top as opposed to the 4-2-3-1 he fielded against Austria. Croatia are going with 4-3-3, just as they did in their 1-1 draw with France earlier this month.
The warm-ups are ticking along nicely. We’ve got 20 minutes to go until kick-off at the Stade de France and Parken Stadium.
That Croatia midfield is just ridiculous, isn’t it? Luka Modric brings Real Madrid’s creative edge, Marcelo Brozovic provides Inter’s defensive brawn and Mateo Kovacic adds the Chelsea wildcard factor. Adrien Rabiot, Matteo Guendouzi, Boubacar Kamara and Christopher Nkunku have their work cut out for them.
Here’s how the teams line up for the two games in League A, Group 1:
France: Maignan, Koundé, Konaté, Kimpembe, Digne, Rabiot, Kamara, Guendouzi, Nkunku, Benzema, Mbappé.
Croatia: Ivusic, Stanisic, Erlic, Sutalo, Juranovic, Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic, Pasalic, Budimir, Brekalo.
Denmark: Schmeichel, Boilesen, Christensen, Andersen, Nissen, Maehle, Jensen, Højbjerg, Olsen, Cornelius, Wind.
Austria: Lindner, Trimmel, Trauner, Danso, Wimmer, Lazaro, Schlager, Seiwald, Sabitzer, Kalajdzic, Weimann.
In other Nations League news, Kazakhstan have edged past Slovakia 2-1 while Azerbaijan have beaten Belarus 2-0. The Hawks, as the Kazakhstan national team are known, are sitting pretty at the top of League C, Group 3 on 10 points, with Slovakia second on six and Azerbaijan two points behind in third.
Are you ready for another evening of full-throttle, high-octane, pedal-to-the-metal Nations League pandemonium? No disrespect to your Maltas, your Andorras, your Liechtensteins and your San Marinos, but tonight is all about the rarified brilliance of France, Croatia, Denmark and Austria. Oh, and Iceland are playing Israel.
It’s been a lackluster Nations League campaign for France so far, with the reigning world champions going winless in their first three matches. They required a late equalizer from Kylian Mbappé to salvage a draw against Austria on Friday, with the Paris Saint-Germain forward, sporting director, manager and transfer strategist (a joke! a joke!) making a welcome return from injury.
Denmark remain top of the group despite a 1-0 defeat to Croatia in Copenhagen last time out, with Mario Pasalic scoring the only goal of the game. They will be hoping for a repeat of their 2-1 win against Austria in Vienna last Monday, when a close-range strike from Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and a late screamer from Jens Stryger Larsen were enough to secure victory.