World Cup semi final revenge game! It’s Croatia hosting England behind closed doors, yes there will be no fans allowed into this game. England will be looking to avenge their defeat in the world cup to Croatia which crushed their dreams of making the final and this is quite a crucial game in the UEFA Nations League. With both nations being beaten by Spain, this now all of a sudden becomes a do or die match for both countries. Fail to win here and you can pretty much kiss winning the group goodbye, a loss would be even worse as one of these teams would be stuck rock bottom being in serious danger of falling down to the lower league of the competition. Can Croatia repeat their success over England or will the Three Lions get their revenge and come closer to group leaders Spain?
Ever since Croatia defeated England, they’ve been winless in 3 games in a row having lost the world cup final to France, a draw with Portugal and a friendly and having been completely smashed by Spain 6-0 in their first UENL match.
Mario Mandzukic is one of the most in form Croatian players this season so far having scored 4 goals this season in 8 apps in all competitions for his club.
Including friendlies, Croatia are unbeaten in 20 straight home games. Last loss coming in 2014 to Belgium.
Including friendlies, Croatia have not kept a clean sheet in 7 straight matches having conceded 16 goals in those.
Including friendlies Croatia have won just 2 of their last 10 matches against League A opponents in 90 minutes. 5D 3L.
England are currently on a 3 match losing streak in competitive matches. They did win their last friendly match however.
Marcus Rashford scored in both games for England last month.
England have also only won 2 games of their last 10 against League A opponents in 90 minutes. 4D 4L. They’ve lost all 3 matches against those opponents in the World Cup.
8 of England’s last 10 matches against League A opposition had an under 2.5 goals.
England have only kept 2 clean sheets in their last 9 games including friendlies. However, only 3 of those last 9 England games had over 2.5 goals in 90 minutes.
Croatia: Croatia have been dealt some good news as their starters Lovren and Rebic have both returned and are expected to play in this match for their nation. After being embarrassed the way they did against Spain, having one of their key defenders back in Lovren is great news for Croatia. However, Croatia will still be missing RB Vrsaljko and a midfielder Brozovic due to injuries. Coach Zlatko Dalic will be looking to field a very strong with the likes of Rakitic, Modric, Kovacic, Mandzukic, Perisic, Rebic all likely to be involved from the start. This is a game where Croatia will be hoping to restore some pride after being humiliated by Spain last month. One player to watch in this match will be Luka Modric who will be hoping to recapture some of his last season form as he hasn’t hit the highs yet this season.
England: Gareth Southgate has introduced some fresh blood for this international break for his England side by calling up some very talented youngsters in Mason Mount, Jadon Sancho and James Maddison while Brighton’s Lewis Dunk has also received his first international call up. All of the named youngsters called up will be hoping to feature in this match and one player to really watch out for will be Jadon Sancho who has been lighting up the Bundesliga with 1 goal and 7 assists despite coming off the bench in 6 of his 7 apps in the league. We should expect Southgate to field most of his stars with the likes of Kane, Rashford, Sterling, Tripper, Stones all expected to start, however they will be without Luke Shaw, Jesse Lingard and Dele Alli who are injured. Danny Rose is expected to start at LB while we may see one of the younger players fill in for Alli.
Betting Tips and Predictions
We’re looking at Croatia as the favourites to win this match. Croatia have already proven that they can defeat England a few months ago and despite playing in front of an empty stadium, they do have a home advantage here. England are missing quite a few key players coming into this match whereas Croatia have got pretty much most of their stars back apart from Vrsaljko. Croatia to win is priced at 2.55, but if you wanted a safer option then the Croatia 0.0 AH at 1.80 is a good pick too considering you’d get your money back in a draw. BTTS at 2.00 does look like a good bet in this match up too. We’ve seen Croatia be shaky at the back recently while England themselves don’t have an amazing backline either. Despite the fact that England have had a lot of unders against League A level opposition, we look at this game differently. Both teams will be needing a win and considering that England will bring in some fresh blood with youth we may see a more attacking minded team and well Croatia themselves have a very good midfield to attack so there’s no reason why we can’t have both teams scoring, this fixture did end 2-1 in the world cup after all. We’re looking at a pretty similar result here with Croatia winning 2-1.
Match Odds (TonyBet)
Croatia Win – 2.55
Draw – 3.10
England Win – 2.95
KICK OFF – 12th October 2018 – 7:45pm UK Time