England vs Croatia EURO 2020
England will face Croatia for their premiere match in the competition. The two teams are drawn in the Group D alongside with Czech Republic and Scotland. This is the second time the two teams will face each other in the UEFA European Championship. The co-hosts, England, making their tenth appearance in the major tournament and Croatia their sixth. However, in those 10 times, England have never won on their first game! On the other hand, Croatia are still to taste defeat. They have also won their last three opening games at the final tournament.
England vs Croatia on TV
🕐 Sunday, 13 June, at 2pm
🏟️ Wembley, London
England vs Croatia at the EURO 2020 will be a rematch of the World Cup 2018 semi-final, in which Croatia beat England and proceeded to the final. Even though it is only the first match of the group, it is of a vital importance, as the winner will enjoy the security that they are almost qualified, and they automatically set themselves as candidates for winning the Group.
England has a strong core of young talented players. All of them have plenty of competition time within their clubs. The three lions want to take revenge of the world Cup semi-final and show to their compatriots that this generation of English footballers is the special one that will bring trophies back to the homeland of football.
England and Croatia will reignite their fierce feud on Sunday in their first match at #EURO2020 – here's the history of the #ThreeLions rivalry with Croatia pic.twitter.com/3XOqQFP6d2— The Sun Football ⚽ (@TheSunFootball) June 11, 2021
On the other hand, Croatia have almost the same core of players as they have had the last 5-6 years. This generation of players brought success, and they are expected to deliver also in this EURO. It will be interesting to see whether Ivan Rakitic’s absence (retired form international duty) will affect the team negatively. Nonetheless, Croatia remains the favourite with England to qualify to the next phase.
Possible Lineups: England vs Croatia EURO 2020
England Predicted XI (4-3-3): Pickford; Walker, Stones, Mings, Chilwell; Phillips, Rice, Mount; Sancho, Kane, Foden.
Croatia Predicted XI (4-3-3): Livakovic, Vrsaljko, Vida, Carleta-Car, Barisic; Brozovic, Kovacic, Modric; Rebic, Perisic, Kramaric.
The coaches point of view of the game
Both coaches know that they will face the biggest challenge of the group in a few days. Zlatko Dalic and Garteh Southgate mentioned the following about their opponent.
Southgate: “I think that we’re a different team, with different experiences. Our more experienced players have had a lot more big matches together. They’ve had – all of our big players have had – big matches with their clubs. But we also have a lot of very young players, and relatively inexperienced internationals, where Croatia has a very similar look when I look at the team.”
Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić on facing familiar opponents England: “It’s going to be the same as in the semi-finals of the World Cup, as well as the Nations League. I’m looking forward to that game. We’ll play at Wembley and kick off the EURO in front of a full stadium. They’re the favourites in our group, and I’ve said before that they’re a team taking huge steps forward. They’re bringing football home.”
How they will play?
England will most probably start with a 4-3-3. However, there is a slight possibility to adjust and switch it later in the game to 3-4-3. The centre backs, and especially John Stones, can organize England’s game. The wing backs Walker and Chilwell have pace and favour to look for the overlap. Kalvin Philips and Declar Rice may start in the midfield, with Harry Kane up front.
Croatia will start with a classical 4-3-3. The three players in the midfield Kovacic, Modric and Brozovic have the quality to create chances at any point during the match. Rebic and Perisic will start at the wings. Croatia has a weakness, and it is their defensive line. They did not show defensive stability neither in preparation nor in the qualification phase. If Zlatko Dalic does not manage to find solutions to the defensive problem of the team, Croatia will have severe problems against England attack.
Expectation and Prediction
The two teams have plenty of things to give in the competition and both teams are expected to qualify from the Group. However, in this particular game, England will find the way and prevail against Croatia. We believe that the quality that England has at the front will harm Croatia who has faced many defensive problems over their recent games. In addition, the fact that the Engand plays at home will give them an additional boost. Thus, we are expecting a very close, but entertaining game, with the slightly better end for England.
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