England begin another quest for glory at Euro 2020 against a Croatia team who extinguished the Three Lions’ hopes at the last major tournament. The two countries have been on different trajectories since their clash in the 2018 World Cup semi-finals, but it remains to be seen whether that trend continues this weekend.
Where and when: Wembley Stadium – 13 June, kick-off 14:00
Where you can see England vs. Croatia: BBC
Last time: England staged a late comeback to beat Croatia 2-1 when these teams last faced each other, which was at Wembley in the Nations League in November 2018. Jesse Lingard and Harry Kane were on target for the Three Lions, after Andrej Kramaric had given the Kockasti the lead just before the hour.
England v Croatia Predictions and Preview
England’s revenge against Croatia was swift if not complete in its redemption, with the Blazers’ World Cup victory over the Three Lions of far more significance than their Nations League encounters later in 2018. Sunday’s clash in the first Group D game of Euro 2020 will be a much more important affair.
Gareth Southgate has seen his youthful squad continue to progress since the heartbreak in Russia. The current English group is a closely-knit unit which doesn’t appear to be suffering from the club factions and frictions of yesteryear, and led by one of the world’s most fearsome strikers in Harry Kane.
The England manager faces a tough task in fitting all of his attacking talent into the same team, with the likes of Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Jadon Sancho, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish all in contention to support captain Kane up top.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
England to win and BTTS
England to win 2-1
Kane to score first
Croatia, on the other hand, have struggled for form since reaching the last World Cup final. Finishing as runners-up to France in Russia appears to have been the zenith of this team’s rise to prominence, with the likes of Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic now retired from international duty.
Luka Modric is still pulling the strings in the centre of midfield though, while Ivan Perisic, Ante Rebic and Andrej Kramaric are all expected to be prominent in this game. Zlatko Dalic must however find an answer for his team’s current struggles.
Croatia’s only two victories in their last nine fixtures came against minnows Cyprus and Malta. The Vatreni have lost five of those nine most recent matches, including a 1-0 defeat against Belgium in their final warm-up fixture for the Euros.
Much more worryingly for the Croatians, they also drew 1-1 at home to Armenia in their first warm-up game. The Blazers have only won 12 of their 29 fixtures since the World Cup final, a clear sign that they are a team in decline.
The Three Lions will fancy their chances of a win in these England v Croatia predictions, especially given their home advantage and victory over the Vatreni the Kockasti the last time the countries met.
Southgate could be without influential duo Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson for this game though, as England attempt to show they’ve grown and matured since fading in the World Cup semi between the countries. The hosts are the 8/11 favourites for the win, while Croatia are 5/1 and the draw is priced at 14/5.
One to watch for England: In some respects, Harry Kane is the only guaranteed starter in the English attack. The Tottenham striker is one of the favourites to win the Golden Boot at Euro 2020, and 14/5 to open the scoring on Sunday.
One to watch for Croatia: With 28 international goals to his name from 101 appearances, Ivan Perisic is the top scorer in Croatia’s squad for the Euros. He scored the equaliser in the World Cup semi-final clash between the countries and is 28/5 to net anytime once again this weekend.
Long shot: Two of the last three meetings between these countries have finished 2-1, with each team winning on one occasion. The Three Lions are 8/1 to win this game 2-1 as part of your England v Croatia tips, rising to 41/1 if you add Kane as the first scorer for an enticing scorecast.