Croatia vs England prediction: Croatia 2-2 England
This one is too close to call, so we think it will come down to penalties.
Both sides have reason to be confident, but England may just have the upper hand with their superior threat from set-pieces.
England have scored one more goal than Croatia so far, but have also kept one fewer clean sheet.
Croatia vs England incredible World Cup betting offers:
Croatia vs England: Who will win?
England are 27/20 favourites to win the match in normal time, while Croatia are 13/5.
England can be backed at odds of 8/13 to reach the World Cup final. Croatia are 13/10.
Harry Kane is 10/3 to score the opening goal of the game.
Croatia vs England match preview
Gareth Southgate’s England side face Croatia on Wednesday night for a spot in Sunday’s World Cup final.
The winners of this match will play France in the final, Les Bleus beat Belgium 1-0 thanks to a Samuel Umtiti goal on Tuesday night.
Much of the England side will be familiar with a number of Croatia’s players.
Dejan Lovren is teammates with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson at Liverpool. Jamie Vardy used to play with Andrej Kramaric at Leicester.
While Vedran Corluka and Luka Modric both played at Tottenham Hotspur until 2012, with the likes of Kyle Walker and Danny Rose.
Croatia & England’s road to Moscow
England qualified for the semi-final after a comfortable, if not underwhelming, 2-0 win over Sweden in the Quarter-finals. Harry Maguire opened the scoring before Dele Alli wrapped things up for the Three Lions.
Croatia finished as runners-up of Group D with three wins out of three, which included a stunning 3-0 victory over Argentina.
Since then, Zlatko Dalic’s side have been taken to consecutive penalty shootouts, following 1-1 and 2-2 draws after extra time against Denmark and Russia respectively.
Harry Kane is on course to become the competition’s top scorer. The Spurs man has six goals to his name so far – although three of those came from the penalty spot.
John Stones is the only other England player to have scored more than one goal, both against Panama.
Likewise, Luka Modric (2) is Croatia’s only player with more than one goal. Kane and Modric have both picked up three Man of the Match awards each.
“It’s coming home”
England have faced Croatia seven times, winning four and losing two. Most recently, the Three Lions beat Croatia 4-1 and 5-1 in qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.
Croatia lost 2-1 to France in their only previous World Cup semi-final appearance back in 1998.
Despite being the designated “home” side in the match, Croatia will be in their black change strip, while England will be in all white on Wednesday.
Referee Cuneyt Cakir of Turkey will take charge of the match. Cakir has awarded nine yellows in his two World Cup matches so far, and has also awarded a penalty.
For those with longer memories, the 41-year-old referee sent off Gary Cahill while overseeing a Chelsea game in 2012.
The match will be broadcast live to 30,000 England supporters in Hyde Park, London.
Croatia team news vs England
Sime Vrsaljko is ruled out of picking up an injury against Russia, meaning Vedran Corluka should start at right-back.
It is possible that Corluka’s lack of pace will demand his inclusion in the centre with Domagoj Vida playing right back.
Marcelo Brozovic is expected to replace Andrej Kramaric in the line-up, despite his goal last time out.
Real Madrid’s Mateo Kovacic may have to settle for a spot on the bench once again.
Croatia looked very tired in the final stages of extra-time against Russia in their quarter-final. Goalkeeper Danijel Subasic and attacker Mario Mandzukic looked to be carrying knocks.
Whilst Subasic and Mandzukic might not be 100%, they are expected to start the game.
England team news vs Croatia
Jamie Vardy remains a doubt but did train on Tuesday. Kyle Walker, Dele Alli and Ashley Young are all fine following previous worries.
Jordan Henderson is expected to recover from a minor hamstring injury, although Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Fabian Delph and Eric Dier are on standby as alternatives.
Raheem Sterling is expected to keep his place up front with Harry Kane.
All reports on Wednesday morning suggest England will go with the tried and tested line-up that started the wins over Sweden and Colombia.
Croatia predicted starting line-up vs England
England predicted starting line-up vs Croatia
Croatia vs England: Where the match will be won tactically
It is not just optimistic England fans that think the Three Lions should have the edge over Croatia.
Yes, Croatia have arguably the best two players on the pitch, in Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, but past that England look stronger all over the pitch.
Particularly in attack, where the feeling is Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling can run riot against Dejan Lovren and co.
Kane caused Lovren to come off ridiculously early when Spurs beat Liverpool 4-1 at Wembley last season and this match-up will be key to deciding which team wins.
All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.
The latest videos from Croatia pre England
— HNS | CFF (@HNS_CFF) July 9, 2018
— HNS | CFF (@HNS_CFF) July 8, 2018
The latest videos from England pre Croatia
— England (@England) July 9, 2018
“To get to a semi-final is something I’d never dream of… well, I tell a lie, I have dreamed of it!”
— England (@England) July 9, 2018
— England (@England) July 8, 2018