England v Croatia Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
November 16, 2018
Wembley - Nations League
Croatia’s last-gasp victory over Spain on Thursday means we’re in for a Group A4 decider as England face their World Cup conquerers at Wembley. The Nations League has added to the continued revived interest in international football, and this game could be a cracker.
A stadium ban for Croatia meant last month’s meeting between the teams was played behind closed doors. It petered out into a goalless draw, in a completely different environment to their World Cup semi-final which Croatia won 2-1 in extra-time.
Gareth Southgate made sweeping changes to his team to have a look at various players on Thursday, which became a testimonial for Wayne Rooney once England’s record goalscorer took to the pitch. The likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford should all return to the starting XI.
There’s no more Mario Mandzukic to break English hearts after the Juventus forward retired from international duty following the World Cup. Ivan Perisic got Croatia’s equaliser in the semi and will start here, ahead of an ominous midfield that contains Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic.
England v Croatia Preview and Predictions
Before their defeat to Croatia at the World Cup, England last played the Vatreni at Wembley in 2009. The Three Lions recorded an impressive 5-1 win in qualifying for South Africa 2010, after also winning 4-1 away from home. A similar scoreline here would be just the ticket for the Three Lions.
Victory for either team on Sunday will send them through to the finals of the Nations League next year, after Croatia scored an injury-time winner to beat Spain 3-2 on Thursday. England also beat La Roja by the same scoreline in their last competitive fixture, before the 3-0 win against the United States in the week.
The Three Lions should be full of confidence, and the new additions to the squad are adding even more vibrancy and competition for places. Progressing to the last four of this inaugural Nations League would be a great achievement to add to their World Cup performance, and England are priced at evens to do just that.
Croatia are 3/1 for the win, which would take them from bottom to top in one fell swoop. The Blazers have won back-to-back games after going four without a victory, including the World Cup final against France. A draw in this game would mean Spain finish top and Croatia are relegated, and that’s priced at 14/5.
England to win and BTTS
The Three Lions are on a high and should have the fresher legs, and you can back them to exact a measure of revenge on Croatia with this bet.
Second half to be highest scoring at 11/10
This game could be a little cagey to start with considering what’s at stake, before opening up as both teams go for broke in the second period.