Croatia v England tips: Can Three Lions avenge World Cup exit?
It’s been only 93 days since their World Cup semi-final defeat, but England will face Croatia once again tonight.
Gareth Southgate’s men need a result too. They lost their opening A4 match 2-1 at home to Spain last month.
But little has changed since that meeting in Russia last summer. The Croatians remain an excellent, well-drilled and technical side who are adept on the ball.
There won’t be much of an atmosphere to cheer on the sides, with this game being played behind closed doors. But can the Three Lions get something from their trip to Rijeka?
Our traders reckon this will be a close one. Croatia are slight favourites at 17/10.
Despite the progress under Southgate, England remain short of ideas when they’re against teams who keep possession.
That was greatly evident against Croatia in Russia, and again versus Spain at Wembley. Southgate just doesn’t have the players at his disposal in a 3-5-2 system.
Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mateo Kovacic will dictate play for the hosts from midfield. They’ll look to pick out Ivan Perisic, Ante Rebic and Andrej Kramaric.
It worked to great effect in the summer, so England’s best bet will be set-pieces and counter-attacks.
There’s a chance Southgate may go 4-3-3 tonight too in order to try and counter the Croatian midfielders.
Ben Chilwell could come in at left-back for his first start, while Ross Barkley could be the driving force in midfield.
Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford are expecting to bring pace alongside Harry Kane up front, while James Maddison and teenage wonderkid Jadon Sancho could feature later on.
With five goals already for Tottenham Hotspur this season, Harry Kane is showing no sign of burn-out from a busy summer. The 25-year-old is 7/2 favourite to open the scoring tonight.
Where: HNK Rijeka Stadium
How to watch: Sky Sports Main Event
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All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication