Croatia vs England prediction: Croatia 1-2 England
Old rivalries resume as England travel to Croatia for a crucial UEFA Nations League fixture.
Just 3 months after their World Cup semi-final clash in Moscow, England take on Croatia once again.
Can Southgate’s side get revenge at, what will be an empty, Stadion HNK Rijeka?
Croatia vs England: Who will win?
Croatia, famously beat England 2-1 in Russia and are 13/8 to beat them again.
England famously won in Croatia 11 years ago and are 9/5 to repeat that.
A draw is 21/10.
Both teams to score is priced at 10/11.
Ivan Perišić is the top scorer currently playing for Croatia and netted 3 during the World Cup run. The Inter winger is 13/2 to score first and 12/5 to net anytime.
As always, Harry Kane will be England’s main goal threat. The Spurs man is 15/4 to score first and 5/4 to score in 90 minutes.
Croatia vs England: Match preview
2018 will forever be a year that Croatian football fans will never forget.
Wins over Nigeria, Argentina, Iceland, Denmark and Russia saw them into the World Cup semi-finals for the first time in 20 years.
There, they met England in Moscow.
Despite falling behind, goals by Ivan Perišić and Mario Mandžukić saw them into the World Cup final for the very first time.
They lost a thriller to France but were pleased with everything they achieved.
Zlatko Dalić was hoping to keep that good form going but they did anything but last month.
They travelled to Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero in Elche to take on Spain in their UEFA Nations League opener.
It could hardly have gone any worse.
They were battered 6-0; an inquest is under way.
How can a side, after the year they’ve had, then suffer their biggest ever defeat?
Can Croatia bounce back?
SOCHI, RUSSIA – JULY 07: Domagoj Vida of Croatia celebrates with team mate Dejan Lovren after scoring his team’s second goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Quarter Final match between Russia and Croatia at Fisht Stadium on July 7, 2018 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
England to win this relegation 6-pointer?
England too were hoping to ride the crest of the wave that the summer had created.
The Three Lions ended an even longer wait for a World Cup semi-final; getting there for the first time since Italia ’90.
However, the defeat to Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium left them wondering what if?
Nevertheless, England fans are daring to believe that this is just the start.
Their first game since returning from Russia was also against the Spanish in their Nations League opener.
Marcus Rashford gave them home side an early lead at Wembley, but Spain turned it around, and left London with all 3 points.
3 days later, Rashford was on target again, as his side saw of Switzerland in a friendly.
But it’s the next few days that’ll be decisive for Southgate’s side.
3 days after their game in Rijeka, they travel to Seville for a rematch with the Spain.
This game though, at Stadion HNK Rijeka, will be played behind closed doors due to a UEFA sanction.
Can England use that to their advantage as they attempt to avoid relegation to League B?
Croatia team news vs England
This Croatian team is not as strong as the one England faced just 93 days ago in Moscow.
Two of the key players in that team have since retired from international football.
One of which is goalkeeper Danijel Subašić; he’d previously started 30 of their last 33 competitive internationals.
He’s now hung up his gloves but Lovre Kalinić is also out.
Dominik Livaković will win only his second cap.
There also have serious disruptions to their back 4.
First choice right-back, Šime Vrsaljko, is out with an injury.
22 year-old Tin Jedvaj of Bayer Leverkusen, a centre-back by trade, will be forced to cover.
Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren has been limited to just two appearance so far this campaign but, after the shambolic display his country put in without him, they need him back in the side.
Their first choice left back is also out.
Ivan Strinić, of Milan has pulled out of the squad due to injury.
That means that Josip Pivarić of Dynamo Kiev will deputise.
They may have problems at the back but their midfield is the envy of almost everybody.
Luka Modrić, Ivan Rakitić and, Chelsea’s new fan favourite Mateo Kovačić could just be too good for anything England have to offer.
England fans learnt all about the threat that Ivan Perišić can offer.
They will be without Marcelo Brozović, one of nine who’s pulled out injured.
They may have problems scoring goals though.
Mario Mandžukić, who scored 33 international goals, is the other star that’s hung up his boots and has left a rather large void.
Andrej Kramarić is the obvious replacement but he does not provide the threat that Mandžukić used to.
It’s still a strong looking side, but England fans will be hoping they perform like they did in Spain.
England team news vs Croatia
In the Spain game, Southgate elected to pick 10 of the 11 men who started most of the matches in Russia.
However, due to various reasons, that will not be possible this time.
No change in goal, Jordan Pickford committed his long term future to Everton a couple of weeks ago and is hoping to be the long term future for England too.
John Stones has found starts hard to come by at Manchester City this season but should get one here, alongside Harry Maguire and Joe Gomez.
Luke Shaw was so impressive in the Spain match, before being forced off injured, but is unavailable for selection. Danny Rose pulled out of the squad on Thursday.
Ben Chilwell looks set to win his first start.
There is also a midfield conundrum to solve.
Both Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard are out of the squad due to injury.
The choices to fill those roles are Eric Dier, Ross Barkley, Nathaniel Chalobah, Harry Winks, James Maddison and Mason Mount.
In a tough away game, Southgate may play safe and pick Dier in the deeper role.
Maddison, Mount, Winks and Chalobah have just one cap between them so it would be a big call to pick any of them.
Maddison’s fantastic performances for Leicester so far this season should see him get the nod in the number 10 role.
A new era up front?
Southgate also has a big decision to make up front.
Captain Kane will start up front but it could be any one of three who plays up with him, each hold a strong case.
Rashford scored in both of the September internationals so it would seem harsh to drop him.
Raheem Sterling has been in the goals recently; 4 in the Premier League so far.
And the name on everyone’s lips is Jadon Sancho.
There is so much excitement about this uncapped 18 year-old as he’s been on fire for Borussia Dortmund.
He has scored 1 goal and provided 9 assists at club level this season so will he get thrown in in Rijeka?
A big evening ahead for whoever gets the nod.
Predicted Croatia starting team vs England
Predicted England starting team vs Croatia
(Replace Danny Rose with Ben Chilwell.)
The latest tweets from Croatia pre England
— HNS | CFF (@HNS_CFF) September 25, 2018
— HNS | CFF (@HNS_CFF) September 11, 2018
— HNS | CFF (@HNS_CFF) September 11, 2018
POLL RESULTS: You chose 🇭🇷@HNS_CFF‘s 3-0 win over 🇦🇷@Argentina as the best #WorldCup match that took place in Nizhny Novgorod. @lukamodric10‘s @Hyundai_Global #WorldCupGOT-nominated strike was certainly a highlight moment 💥 pic.twitter.com/jTBV8Rpadn
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) September 26, 2018
The latest tweets from England pre Croatia
Gareth: “With young players, you never know what they’re capable of until you give them their opportunity.
— England (@England) October 4, 2018
Busy day for Gareth Southgate! 😅
— England (@England) October 4, 2018
Let’s keep it going. See you in October. pic.twitter.com/fT4gfXWQnn
— England (@England) September 11, 2018
— England (@England) September 12, 2018
All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.