England Vs Croatia Preview: Team News, Predicted Lineups, Key Men And Betting Odds

Is it coming home? Or is it going Croatia’s way? Well, all our questions will be answered tonight when the Three Lions take on Croatia in the second semi-final of the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018. Both the teams have been in good form throughout the tournament and will be expected to give each other enough hard time in the pursuit of glory.

With France having already been confirmed as the other finalist after they beat Belgium by a slender margin of 1-0 the other night, it is now up to the two European heavyweights, England and Croatia, to capture the other vacant spot. Both sets of players have enough capabilities to make it a good day for their team, so it can be expected that the football lovers from all over the world are in for a tightly contested match this evening. 

Team News

England

They might have the youngest squad in this year’s World Cup but have looked second to none of their opponents they have come across so far in Russia. The confident displays from every player whom manager Gareth Southgate has fielded so far have been a testament to the fact that this England squad is destined for glory. 

The big relief for Southgate will be the fact that he has a fully fit squad to pick from in this mega-match as Jordan Henderson and Jamie Vardy, both of whom picked up hamstring and groin injuries respectively, have been declared fit for the semi-final. 

Croatia

The Blazers, as they are popularly known among the fans, will also be looking to keep their winning run in the tournament so far intact. However, injuries to ace defender Sime Vrsaljko and goalkeeper Danijel Subasic can be a major cause of concern for manager Zlatko Dalic and he will be hoping that the duo is fit before the start of this absolutely crucial clash.

Croatian defender Domagoj Vida, who has been allegedly involved in a pro-Ukraine video that has enraged the Russian supporters, has been warned by FIFA but, to the relief of the Croatian fans, will be available for the match.

Predicted Lineup

England (3-5-2)

Pickford, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Henderson, Young, Dele, Lingard, Sterling, Kane.

Croatia (4-2-3-1)

Subasic, Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic, Modric, Rakitic, Kramaric, Rebic, Perisic, Mandzukic.

Key Men

England

With six goals so far in this version of the FIFA World Cup competition, England captain Harry Kane has undoubtedly been their talisman. The Tottenham Hotspur striker has been in superb form and has looked extremely sharp up front, poaching goals regularly to give his side the advantage. The Three Lions faithful will be hoping that he will carry his good form in the semi-final as well and will lead his team to the cusp of glory, setting up a final day clash with France.

Croatia

The 32-year-old midfield ace and Croatian skipper Luka Modric has shown his class throughout the last month and has made his country proud. His work rate, passing, composure and attitude on the field of play and his ability to score crucial goals when needed the most have made him the player to watch out for in the crucial encounter against England. 

Betting Odds

England Win– 3.60

Draw– 3.10

Croatia Win– 2.35

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Abhishek Majumdar

Editor in Chief of The 4th Official. A man in his thirties who worries about the nuances of the financial aspects of football and how it will impact the game in the long term.

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