Croatia vs England (By: Luke)
After their great run at the World Cup, a bit lucky too, but still deserved - Croatians have suffered complete humiliation in the UEFA Nations League opening match away to Spain in September. They got completely outplayed and suffered biggest defeat in their history with a 6:0 result.
There is nothing much to tell about the game since it was one of the best performances for the Spanish team and they looked like a side capable of everything back then. Moving the ball extremely well, while the Croats looked like a un-motivated side which could be bit logical after such a huge success just a couple of months earlier.
This match means a lot to them now, since they not only need to improve but also need to fight not to relegate to the B group, probably competing only with the English side since the Spaniards already have two victories.
Goalkeeper Danijel Subasic isn't with the team anymore, while the hosts also miss goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic (Gent), defenders Sime Vrsaljko (Inter), Ivan Strinic (Milan), midfielder Marcelo Brozovic (Inter) and forwards Duje Cop (Valladolid) and Nikola Kalinic (Atletico Madrid) comparing to the previous few months.
English side didn't show some extraordinary football at the World Cup, but the side showed really strong mentality, great physicality and good tactical knowledge reaching the semi-finals at the end which can be said, is a pretty fine result after all. They lost the semi-finals game exactly to Croats after extra-time, as their opponents were the only side to defeat them beside Belgium who did it twice at the competition.
Their first game in the UEFA Nations League didn't end well since the team got defeated with a 1:2 result in front of own fans against Spain. Despite taking the lead early, back in the eleventh minute via Rashford, the side didn't manage to keep it up.
In the end, they were the ones who had maybe bit better chances created since the Spaniards didn't look that active as the time progressed. After that defeat, the English side won a friendly game against Switzerland thanks to the only goal scored by Rashford again in the second halftime.
Goalkeeper Joe Hart (Burnley) isn't with the team now, as well as defenders Luka Shaw, Phil Jones and Ashley Young (all Manchester United), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), midfielders Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Adam Lallana (Liverpool) and forward Jamie Vardy (Leicester).
Many thought that the Croats could only go down after the World Cup, but it's now up to that to prove the opposite. The game will be played without fans and I expect the English side to be in slight advantage. Both to score still seems like a very reasonable choice for me, since the Croats really now need to dig deep and improve in every possible way.
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Croatia vs England prediction
|BTTS||Bet365||2.03||8||0-0 LOST (-8 units)|