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England vs Croatia, free match prediction 13 Jun 2021

13 Jun 2021 | 18:30 | Wembley, London, Wembley Stadium
1 winner
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Can England finally shake off huge pressure and deliver as campaign kicks off against old foes Croatia

  • 25th anniversary of when England reached the Semi Finals back in Euro ‘96
  • They are one of the favourites here, with a squad bursting with youth and energy
  • Croatia beat them back at the World Cup in 2018

England to win 2-1

  • Tournament: UEFA Euro 2020
  • Venue: Wembley, London, Wembley Stadium

ENGLAND vs CROATIA Match Preview & Analysis

For England, there is once again genuine optimism that this could be the year that they put their rather troubled history aside when it comes to major tournaments. 

Since winning the World Cup in 1966, a Semi Finals position is the closest they have come in after that competition or indeed the Euros, as they did in 1996. 

Here, they have one of their most exciting squads in decades, brimming with youth, energy and balance that should see them through to the latter stages of the tournament if they can get off to a strong start here.

Croatia are a quality, if slightly aging, team themselves. They dumped England out of the World Cup three years ago, and will be eyeing up causing more surprises once again. 

Whether they are at the same level as three years ago will be called into question, with some of their star players clearly coming to the end of their careers.

Teams Preview

England Preview

World Ranking: 4

Best Historical Finish at the Euros: Semi Finals, 1996

Predicted Finish This Year: Semi Finals

Reasons to be cheerful:

     Home advantage throughout most of the tournament will help

     Have one of the best attacks in the competition

Reasons to be fearful:

     Defender Maguire won’t be fit for this game

     Very rarely start tournaments with a win

The stat staring England in the face before the tournament starts is that they have never won their opening game of a Euros in nine attempts.

This habit of starting slowly has often come back to bite them in the behind, as not winning the group can often mean facing a tougher opponent in the Round of 16, so a good start here is vital.

The main question mark for manager Gareth Southgate will be who to start in attack, given his embarrassment of riches in this area. Harry Kane is nailed on in the striker’s position, but two of Rashford, Sterling, Sancho and Foden and Grealish could have to settle for a place on the bench.

Harry Maguire has resumed full training but is not expected to start this one.

Star Man – Harry Kane

Top scorer in qualifying with an impressive 12 goals, and off the back of another stellar year for Spurs, Kane is chomping at the bit here.

Croatia Preview

World Ranking: 14

Best Historical Finish at the Euros: Quarter Finals, 1996/2008

Predicted Finish This Year: Quarter Finals

Reasons to be cheerful:

     Have history in beating England

     Star man Modric can help them control the game

Reasons to be fearful:

     England are unbeaten at Wembley in a major tournament

     Recent results have shown that maybe their peak is over

For England fans, Croatia will ever be known as the team who dumped them out of the World Cup in 2018, despite the English having some excellent chances to put the game to bed.

Through Modric, however, they have a star midfielder who can control the game in the same vein as legends of the past like Xavi, Zidane and Iniesta.

This is an aging team, however. Modric is 35, forward Perisic is 32 and while forward Petkovic is only 26, his goals record of just six will not inspire the same confidence as retired Mario Mandzukic.

They will make things tough for England, without a doubt. But can they rise to the levels they were at three years ago? It remains to be seen.

Star Man – Luka Modric 

The former Ballon d’Or winner still oozes confidence and quality, and if England allow him, he can boss the game.

ENGLAND vs CROATIA Winning Prediction

     England will be cheered on by 22,500 fans

     The Three Lions fantastic attack will score goals

     Croatia will edge possession

England would have liked a slightly easier fixture to kick off their Euro campaign, given their poor record of never winning their first game.

That said, they know Croatia well, and are a better side than the one who lost to them three years ago.

They have some incredible exciting players going forward, and if they can keep the likes of Modric and Perisic quiet, they can cause some real problems.

England to win 2-1

Author: Ross B.