Will it be revenge for England or more of the same for Croatia as these two countries go to battle in the Nations League on Friday night? Croatia broke English hearts over the summer, and this game is set to be a measure of how far the Three Lions have come since then.
Where and when: Stadion HNK Rijeka – 12 October, kick-off 19:45
Where you can see Croatia vs. England: Sky Sports, William Hill live streaming
Last time: Kieran Trippier gave England the lead with a lovely free-kick in the semi-finals of this summer’s World Cup, but Mario Mandzukic scored an extra-time winner for Croatia to send them into the final.
Croatia v England Predictions and Preview
The Nations League may not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s certainly served up some mouthwatering games in place of the usual lifeless friendlies that have plagued the early months of the season in recent years. This game is no exception, as Gareth Southgate takes his England side to Croatia with the aim of banishing the ghosts of the summer.
The Vatreni no doubt have their own demons to contend with after losing the World Cup final to France. They got a credible draw with Portugal in a friendly in their first game since the final, but followed that up with a heavy 6-0 defeat in Spain.
That result seems to have had an impact on how the bookmakers see this game going, with Zlatko Dalic’s side priced at 17/10 for the win. England are 19/10, with the draw available at 11/5, so there isn’t much to choose between the teams when it comes to the betting.
|Kane to score first||7/2||Offer|
|Over 4.5 goals||19/2||Offer|
There’s much more experience in the Croatian ranks, which could help them bounce back from their mauling in Spain. However, most of this England squad got plenty of experience in Russia this summer, while there are some exciting new additions to the Three Lions squad.
James Maddison has been tearing up the Premier League with Leicester, while Jadon Sancho and Mason Mount have been impressive outside the English top flight, with Borussia Dortmund and Derby County respectably. There are concerns at left-back with Luke Shaw and Danny Rose both reportedly picking up knocks over the weekend.
Croatia will field a similar side to the one that did so well in Russia, led by newly crowned FIFA Best Player Luka Modric. He’ll look to control this game from central areas, alongside Ivan Rakitic and Mateo Kovacic, in a powerful midfield unit for the hosts.
One to watch for Croatia: Ivan Perisic had an excellent World Cup, with two of his three goals coming in the semi-finals and final. The Inter Milan winger is 10/1 for the first goal on Friday.
One to watch for England: Harry Kane has four goals in his last four games for Tottenham, silencing his critics for the time being. He is the 7/2 favourite to open the scoring here.
Long shot: The last seven meetings between these two countries have produced 31 goals, with England winning the two games prior to this summer 4-1 and 5-1. An over 4.5 goals bet here is 19/2.