Croatia vs England
WC 2018 in Russia, Semifinal 2
Well, I will try to be max objective and not too rough towards English team and their fans.
IMO, they are not favorites in this game. In best case for England this could be 50-50 but even then obviously value is on the side of Croatia with the offered odds.
I see all over the web, majority consider England as team who will play against France for the title but honestly I couldn't find enough valid reasons for such claim.
The most often you can read about Croatia being tired after two straight Extra Time victories.
Well we can talk about fatigue cause Croats did played 120 in both knockout rounds. But how much that really matters? IMO not much.
1) England played Extra Time once too, so it`s only 30 minutes difference.
2) I saw Modrić running like crazy late in the extra time vs Russia. And not only Modrić but many more players in both teams. So I guess they are all well prepared.
3) This is 2018. Obviously today`s football or sport in general has not much in common with say 80s, or football during 90s. For example, the same injury that would put you out for 6 to 12 months in last century, today would cost you not playing at least half time less. So my point is, when recovering from serious injury is way shorter, you can imagine how much is not a problem recovering from simple fatigue...
I would like to talk much more about teams itself. Where exactly England hold the edge over Croats? I don`t see it to be honest. What more Croatian midfield seems way better. So, if some of the defenders like Lovren or some other guy, doesn`t make some rookie mistake (on this WC he didn`t so far like he knew so many times in Liverpool), then I think the edge is on the Croatian side. But let say it is 50:50. With odds we have, value is on Croatia.
BTW, when we are talking about Croatian defense, instead of suspended Vrsaljko, most likely experienced Corluka will start. No worries, the guy has 100+ games in the national team.
Now, I feel everyone are pissed of on the Croats after two times they won on penalties. Everyone are pissed cause they expected Croatia would take the job done in regular 90 minutes. Everyone are pissed cause they simply lost the money. So, when you hear how Croatia was disaster in last two games, well, that's not exactly true. They were quite good, especially against Russian team who was way better than anyone thought they would be.
As for meeting with Denmark, yes, I was disappointed too cause back then my money was on Croatia to win in regular time. But that is how the things work in the knockout stage, you play on the result, you play to go through and you don't risk too much. I am still sure Croatia is way better than Denmark and that they would beat them in some other circumstances that the win in regular 90 minutes was a must.
Back to England, I repeat, I don't want to bee too rough but this English squad is a garbage. IMO their worst team in years. Fact they qualify to this semis and fact they have chance to be even in finals IMO was just pure luck and nothing more.
First, they had one penalty win too. So, if Croatia was lucky, they were too. Not to talk Colombia was without their best player. Then in QF, Sweden. Not too tough opponent, isn't it? And if we want to be honest, Pickford saved them back then big time with those couple amazing saves at 1:0. If Sweden tied at 1:1 as they could and should, I am sure it would be another Extra Time game.
We can talk also about English group. The easiest group in the history of World Cup. Panama and Tunisia? I mean come on. Find me another example where two teams in final round play each other with complete reserve squads, that is how tough that group was.
Not to talk how shameful game vs Belgium was. England and their well know "fairplay". So, they got the easier half of the draw at the end.
I am quite positive that in some other group this English team probably would not qualify at all for R16.
Name me one, just one but really high quality player in English squad beside Harry Kane. I think if we make a list of the current top 20 English Premier League players, except Kane there will be no other English guy. It is great league, no doubt about that, but league for super stars from other countries.
I understand euphoria about reaching SF on the World Cup. But when you hear some serious people like some former players (Rio Ferdinand and Alan Shearer for example) who are talking already about finals and who literally says how England would beat Croatia with 3:0 or 4:0, then you can just lough and say how arrogant and disrespectful British people are. And beside that the another thing you can do is to take this great value on Croatia.
Double chance in the Croat for me is great bet but I think we can make from this game much bigger profit than that. So, Croatia to qualify is tempting bet IMO. But I am afraid a little bit this game could go to Extra Time and later also to penalties and then it is again pure luck in question.
So, I opted for Full Time Draw and hopefully Croats won't win it in regular 90 minutes while English win in regular would be huge surprise for me.
Croatia vs England prediction
|Draw||Pinnacle||3.12||8||1-1 WON (+16.96 units)|