England vs. Croatia: Team News, Preview and Prediction

Published July 11, 2018 by Sol FH

England vs. Croatia: Team News, Preview and Prediction

It's England vs. Croatia for the final spot in the 2018 World Cup Championship match, and it gets underway at 19:00 GMT.

It all get's underway tonight, Wednesday, July 11th at 19:00 GMT, the second semifinal match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The game takes place at Luzhniki Stadium, right in the heart of Moscow, with what should be a sold-out crowd in attendance. England and Croatia will be playing with nothing to lose in order to advance to the Final, but which team is stronger, what lineups will the respective coaches begin with, and after 90' minutes of action, which team will ultimately win. 

For the Three Lions, Gareth Southgate has a chance to make modern-day history as the last time England made a World Cup final was back in 1966. Croatia will be no roll-over and England must play its best game of the tournament tonight. 

The Croatian team has not made the semifinals since 1998, in which they lost but ended up winning the third-place match.

Key Match-ups

All eyes will be on Harry Kane to see if he will continue scoring for England. He will be going up against Dejan Lovren and Vedran Corluka, who have proven effective defensive weapons throughout the World Cup. Lovren was beaten by Kane in league play this past season when Tottenham faced Liverpool earlier in 2018.

For Croatia, Luka Modric is their most dangerous player, and if Jordan Henderson can't get a grip on him, Croatia has a real chance. The Real Madrid striker has been outstanding throughout the World Cup and had the ability to change the pace of the game to suit his style of play. 

England has seen a lot of success from set-pieces, with corners and free kicks accounting for many of its goals. There is a hole in the Croatian defense against aerial plays and England could efficiently use this to its advantage. Croatia has scored multiple goals in all but one of their World Cup 2018 matches, but England hasn't allowed more than one goal in each of its games in Russia this year. Harry Kane has 6 goals already, which is the most by an Englishman since the 1986 World Cup in Mexico when Gary Lineker scored six. 

Prediction

The expected starting lineup for both teams should be something like: 

For England: Dele, Henderson, Kane, Lingard, Maguire, Pickford, Sterling, Stones, Trippier, Walker, and Young. 

For Croatia: Brozovic, Corluka, Lovren, Mandzukic, Modric, Perisic, Rakitic, Rebic, Strinic, Subasic, and Vida.

Two very strong sides to play an aggressive match without holding anything back. bet365 Sports has posted its odds in favor of the Three Lions (England) at a competitive 2.30. When seeing Croatia's numbers of 3.70, it begins to get easier to understand that Croatia is actually a lot stronger than one would think. Don't forget that the Croatians have also won two matches after penalty shots, so the team knows how to shoot under pressure. 

Tonight would be sweet to see another big upset, but everything is pointing to an England win. They have played poorly on the world cup stage for far too long and must bring the respect back to England. 

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See also

Croatia Officially Recognizes eCOGRA

England Will Look to Silence Suarez and Co

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Punters Back England Cricket to Win the Ashes

The Ashes 1st Test Third Day: Will Australia Stand up to England?


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