Both England and Croatia will be hoping to start their Euro 2020 campaigns off with a victory. With plenty of historic clashes between these sides, this one could be fascinating.
Will the Three Lions come out on top or will Zlatko Dalic’s men pull off the win?
England vs Croatia Head-to-Head
After reaching the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and the 2019 UEFA Nations League, England have plenty of hype behind them.
Some mixed results in late 2020 have tempered expectations, and there are some concerns over manager Gareth Southgate’s tactical system. However, with a strong squad overall, England are amongst the favorites for Euro 2020.
They’re coming into the tournament off the back of six straight wins, including one over Romania last weekend.
Meanwhile, Croatia have flattered to deceive since making the final of the 2018 World Cup.
They qualified for Euro 2020 with relative ease despite a loss to Hungary. But their UEFA Nations League results have been disappointing. Croatia suffered losses to Spain and England in 2018 and Portugal, France and Sweden in 2020.
This will also be the first tournament in a long time that Croatia will head to without veterans Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic, who have retired from international football.
In terms of previous clashes, results have been mixed and also historic.
England defeated Croatia at Euro 2004, but suffered two losses to them in their failed Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.
The Three Lions then inflicted revenge on Croatia during the qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup, beating them with an aggregate score of 9-2. England then fell to Croatia in the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup.
England most recently defeated Croatia 2-1 at Wembley in November 2018 to qualify for the semi-finals of the 2019 UEFA Nations League.
England form guide: W-W-W-W-W
Croatia form guide: L-W-W-D-L
England vs Croatia Team News
England veterans Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson remain doubtful for this game. Henderson only returned for a brief period of action in last weekend’s win over Romania, and he may not be risked just yet.
Doubtful: Harry Maguire, Jordan Henderson
Croatia should have a full-strength squad to call upon for this game, as no injuries have been reported from their camp.
England vs Croatia Predicted XI
England predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Jordan Pickford, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Tyrone Mings, Luke Shaw, Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden, Mason Mount, Jack Grealish, Harry Kane
Croatia predicted XI (4-3-3): Dominik Livakovic, Sime Vrsaljko, Domagoj Vida, Duje Caleta-Car, Borna Barisic, Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic, Mateo Kovacic, Ante Rebic, Bruno Petkovic, Ivan Perisic
England vs Croatia Prediction
Despite all of the hype around England, this should be a tight match to call.
However, Gareth Southgate has a plethora of attacking talent to choose from while Croatia are not quite as strong as they were in the 2018 World Cup.
If Southgate can get his tactics right, this should be a good chance for England to start their campaign with a victory.
Prediction: England 2-1 Croatia
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