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UEFA Nations League Croatia vs England: It’s Not About Revenge!


UEFA Nations League Croatia vs England: It’s Not About Revenge!

Croatia vs England

The wounds are still a little raw, but Gareth Southgate will make sure England arrive with cool heads on their shoulders when he takes his fledgeling squad to Croatia on Friday.

The UEFA Nations League Croatia vs England match will bring back happy memories for Croatia, but rather more painful ones for the young Lions, after the brilliant Luka Modric inspired his team to a dramatic extra-time win in the World Cup semi-final. Both nations enjoyed a fantastic tournament but were left with a wonder of what might have been. Zlatko Dalic’s team was well beaten in the final against France, but England didn’t have a chance to find out.

These are two of the world’s best teams, according to the FIFA rankings, with the hosts fourth and the visitors currently sixth on the list. Croatia vs England odds tells us this will be as tight a game as that epic encounter in July.

It’s going to be an odd atmosphere, though, as the game will be played behind closed doors while the hosts complete a two-match ban for racist behaviour.

Talking Points

England World Cup hero Kieran Trippier has said the Three Lions are not on a revenge mission when they visit the empty HNK Rijeka Stadium. The Spurs wing-back provided more chances than anyone in the tournament and scored a beauty of a free-kick in the semi-final. He says the young team is determined to make long tournament runs a habit.

With an average squad age of under 24, Gareth Southgate is continuing to look to the future: he is giving Borussia Dortmund wonder kid Jadon Sancho his first call-up, along with Leicester’s rising star James Maddison and Chelsea youngster, Mason Mount, currently on loan at Championship club Derby. Brighton’s big defender Lewis Dunk has also had the call because Burnley’s James Tarkowski is recovering from injury.

Sancho admits he was surprised by his elevation to the England squad, but he shouldn’t be as one of the Bundesliga’s top assist providers and an exciting talent at BVB. And that’s good news for Manchester United’s 20-year-old striker, Marcus Rashford, who has scored England’s last two goals.

Another man hoping to impress is Chelsea’s Ross Barkley. He was frustrated to be left out of the World Cup squad but has made a great start to the season with rave reviews from no less than Eden Hazard!

Zlatko Dalic’s team came so close to an incredible World Cup triumph, losing in the final to France. After a bright start from England in the semi-final, the class of his well-established players shone through. Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic scored the goals which broke England hearts, but it was FIFA Best Awards winner Luka Modric who pulled the strings.

What Southgate wouldn’t give for an accomplished talent like Modric to help bring on his young guns? Alongside the gifted Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, he can bring a level of creativity England can only hope for.

The game will be played behind closed doors because a swastika was seen on the pitch during a game between Croatia and Italy back in 2015, shortly after a spate of racist chanting by their fans in a match with Norway. This is the last game of the fan ban.

It’s going to be a fascinating clash; all the Croatia vs England highlights will be right here at SBOBET with the big moments in detail, kick by kick.

History

There has been a period of reflection for both teams since the World Cup. After two heroic campaigns, both have been dealt a dose of reality by Spain, a team with more riches in its squad, but one which badly under-achieved in Russia, going out to the hosts on penalties.

England lost 2-1 to Luis Enrique’s side, but the Croats were decimated 6-0, the worst defeat in the country’s history and one which makes a mess of Croatia’s goal difference. In their other September fixture, the Three Lions won their friendly against Switzerland while Croatia drew with Portugal.

Before the World Cup semi-final, the two previous meetings were rather painful for Croatia: they were on the end of two thrashings, 4-1 and 5-1, during qualification for the 2010 World Cup.

And England edge the head-to-heads by four victories to three, with no draws.

Betting Tip

England Asian Handicap 0.00 @ 2.05

This clash is a tough one to call with the hosts, roared on by no one, at 2.60 to win, while England are at 2.76 and the draw at 3.00.

Though longest in odds, the draw seems the most likely result in many ways, with 1-1 the lowest odds scoreline at 5.00, and 2-3 goals at 1.81.

It’s not about revenge; but if anyone’s going to edge it, then why not Southgate’s young Lions?

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 


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