Croatia vs England / World Cup – The second semi-final couple of the World Cup in Russia is made of two European teams, Croatia and England, so it is now clear to everyone that the title of the world champion will for the fourth time in a row end up in the hands of one team from the old continent. In other words, this is the first placement in the semi-finals of the World Cup for the team of England after 1990, while the Croatians have managed in their short history to win this placement for the second time, noting that they in 1998 in France ended up on the great third place. We should also add that Croatia and England are together in the group in the first edition of FIFA's League of Nations, which starts at the end of this year, while they have met five times so far, and the English were a little more successful with three wins, while Croatia made two victories. Begins: 11.07.2018. – 20:00 CET
It is interesting to note that the Croatians have achieved both triumphs over England in the qualifiers for EURO 2008, leaving the English without a placement in that competition, after which they have immediately revenged to them in the same way in the qualifiers for the World Cup 2010 in South Africa, which is the only the big tournament that Croats have missed since the year 2000, when they did not even qualified for EURO in Belgium and Netherlands. But the team of Croatia has only two years earlier in their debut performance at the World Cup as an independent state, achieved its greatest success when they took third place in France, so this generation led by Modric and Rakitic had a historic chance to surpass that result now in Russia. Especially because they still have not lost any matches in this World Cup, with the note that they have received only three goals in five games played.
However, they were much better in the group stage because they have mastered Nigeria with 2-0, with 3-0 the favoured Argentina and 2-1 Iceland, practically with their reserve lineups, which has deservedly brought them first place in the group. And when the knockout stage was expected to continue in the same rhythm, Dalic's players have failed a little bit because they had to play extensions with Denmark and the host Russia, but they were somewhat calmer during penalties and in the end with a lot of luck won the expected placement in the World Cup semi-finals. Otherwise, in their duel with the Russians, defenders Subasic and Vrsaljko, who, according to the latest information, did not manage to recover enough, so the experienced Corluka shoul replace him in the last line against the English, while Subasic should be among the stands this time.
Probable lineups Croatia: Subasic – Vida, Corluka, Lovren, Strinic – Brozovic, Rakitic – Rebic, Modric, Perisic – Mandzukic
We have already stated in the introduction that the English have been waiting for their placement in the semi-finals of the World Cup since 1990 which was held in Italy, with the proviso that they were also the last time among the four best teams in European championships in 1996, when they eventually took third place at home. That is why coach Southgate's players were not expected to do much in this World Cup in Russia, especially since they have one of the youngest teams, but apparently this eventually turned out to be a winning combination because they have after a long time got the opportunity to fight for the title of the world champions, since they have unexpectedly won placement in semi-finals with the effect of three wins, one draw and one defeat.
First, in the group stage, they routinely celebrated a victory over Tunisia and Panama, while they lost in the third round with a combined team from Belgium with 1-0. However, in the round of sixteen they had a very difficult job against the unpleasant team of Colombia, which they eventually eliminated only after the penalty, while they after that had a slightly easier job against the Swedes in the quarter-finals, which they mastered thanks to goals by Maguire and Alli with a score 2-0. Of course, that placement in the semi-finals of the World Cup has brought great euphoria in England, but they are very much aware that they will now have an extremely tough job against very strong and experienced Croats, even though Southgate, unlike his fellow Dalic, can probably count on all his key players in this semi-final match.
Probable lineups England: Pickford – Walker, Stones, Maguire – Trippier, Alli, Henderson, Lingard, Young – Sterling, Kane
Croatia vs England PICK
Even though the English should be somewhat more rested before this semi-final match at the World Cup in Russia, since they has a much easier job in the previous round than Croatians, we still feel that the Croatia’s experience should be crucial in this match and therefore we think that they can come to at least a draw in the regular 90 minutes of the match.
Pick: Asian Handicap +0.5 Croatia
Odds: 1.68 at betvictor (down to 1.63 can be played)
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