Croatia vs England Predictions, Betting Tips and Match Previews
England to Win
Harry Kane To Score Anytime
Harry Maguire To Score Anytime
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Can’t wait for this one. What a tournament the English lads are having. It was a solid performance against Sweden with the win never in doubt. Another fantastic performance from Harry Maguire and Pickford was superb.
This could be a tough game against a very experienced Croatia team. Main man Modric is a joy to watch. Midfield is where Croatia are at their strongest so Henderson will need some help there. At the back they are not the quickest so I expect Sterling etc to keep running in behind.
Going for a England win 2 1. Come on England
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Reason For Croatia vs England Betting Tips
There are just four teams remaining in the FIFA World Cup 2018, and to everybody’s surprise two of them are Croatia and England. This will be the first World Cup semi- final appearance this millennium for both of these nations, with Croatia’s one and only semi-final match coming back in their first ever World Cup in 1998 and England having not been this deep in a World Cup since 1990.
The pressure on these sets of players is similarly overwhelming, but the two quarter final clashes that these teams won couldn’t be more different. Croatia were engaged in a 120 minute battle with host nation Russia, often finding themselves on the back foot against the surprisingly good hosts and only making it through via a panic inducing penalty shootout.
England, on the other hand, strolled to a rather comfortable 2-0 win over a lacklustre Sweden side just a few hours before Croatia’s epic battle. Both teams well and truly deserve to be in this position, but only one can progress to the final on Sunday.
The difference in these two quarter final clashes could actually play an important role in the semi-final. Croatia have been taken to penalties in both of their knockout stages matches so far, and by the end of the game on Saturday they certainly seemed to be feeling the effects. Sime Vrsaljko was forced off injured and goalkeeper Danijel Subasic was nursing his hamstring at the end of the game, while at the other end of the pitch Mario Mandzukic looked out on his feet.
These 120 minute marathons and the mental toil of a penalty shootout are draining both physically and mentally, so by comparison England had a rather easy evening in Russia. They held possession for long periods against Sweden and were rarely threatened at the back, and the first half headed goal from Harry Maguire settled the building tension before it got to a point where it was too mentally taxing.
Maguire, along with the other Harry in the England team, is proving to be a real game changer for the Three Lions. He has won the most aerial battles of any defender at the tournament, and England are well and truly taking advantage of this. They have aimed for him 20 times from set pieces, more than any other player at the World Cup, and he has won a huge 22 aerial battles in just the last two matches. With England scoring five of their goals from set pieces and Croatia conceding two of their four from set plays, backing Maguire to find the net looks an inspired bet here.
Of course, ignoring Harry Kane would be criminal. The England captain leads the race for the Golden Boot in Russia and has scored in seven of his last eight appearances for England. We’re also backing him to find the net here.
As far as the overall result goes, we like the look of England’s chances. Croatia have come through a really tough couple of games and were definitely feeling the effects on Saturday, and England will be very grateful for their more relaxed match on Saturday. We’re backing England to win here, and going for a 2-1 correct score predictions as well.
Croatia Predicted Lineup: Subasic, Corluka, Lovren, Vida, Strinic, Modric, Rakitic, Rebic, Kramaric, Perisic, Mandzukic
England Predicted Lineup: Pickford, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Young, Henderson, Alli, Lingard, Sterling, Kane
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Head to Head
England and Croatia have faced each other seven times, with four wins for England, one draw, and two Croatia victories. They have only met once before in a major tournament though, with England winning 4-2 in a Euro 2004 group stage match.
Croatia vs England Stats
- England are competing in their third World Cup semi-final; they won 2-1 against Portugal in 1966 on their way to winning the tournament, but lost on penalties to Germany in 1990.
- Croatia have had eight different scorers at the 2018 World Cup – only Belgium have had more different players find the net (9).
- England have not beaten two European nations in a single World Cup since 1982, when they beat Czechoslovakia and France.
- England have scored 11 goals at this year’s World Cup, a joint-record along with the 11 they scored in their victorious 1966 tournament.
- Croatia have reached the World Cup semi-finals for the second time since their first World Cup participation in 1998, which is more than the likes of Argentina, England, Italy, Portugal and Spain (1 each). The only European nations with more semi-final appearances in this period (inc. 2018) are Germany (4), France (3) and Netherlands (3).
- Croatia reached the semi-finals via penalty shootout victories in the last 16 against Denmark and quarter-final against Russia – the only other team to win two penalty shootouts in a single World Cup were Argentina in 1990 (against Yugoslavia and Italy).
- England had 15 shots on target in their first two 2018 World Cup matches but have attempted just six in their three games since – England had eight shots on target against Portugal in the 1966 semi-final, and four in 1990’s semi-final against Germany.
- Croatia have only lost one of their six knockout matches at the World Cup, losing to France in the 1998 semi-final.
- Harry Kane has scored on six of the seven days of the week for England, with Wednesday the only day he hasn’t scored on. Should he score, he’ll become just the third player to score on all seven days of the week for England, after Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard.
- Mario Mandzukic assisted Andrej Kramaric’s goal against Russia in the quarter-final – he has been involved in four goals at the World Cup finals for Croatia (3 goals, 1 assist), with only Davor Suker involved in more (6).
- Eight of England’s 11 goals at the 2018 World Cup have been scored via set-pieces – since 1966, the only team to equal that number in a single World Cup tournament are Portugal in 1966 (also eight goals).
- Croatia scored two headers in their last match against Russia – only one of their previous 29 World Cup goals was scored via a header.
Croatia Team News
Croatia's suspension fears were eased against Russia as all of their vulnerable players avoided a booking, and Danijel Subasic is expected to recover from a hamstring injury that he suffered against Russia. Sime Vrsaljko was forced off injured though, and Mario Mandzukic looked absolutely exhausted towards the end of the game.
England Team News
England are expecting to have a fully fit squad coming into this game, with Jamie Vardy fit enough to make the bench against Sweden and Jordan Pickford overcoming a bizarre injury that saw him hurt his thumb after accidentally punching his own knee.
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