The tilt between Croatia and England will be played at the Luzhniki Arena in Moscow on July 11th. England got an opportunity to fight for the medal for the first time since 1990 in Italy after defeating Sweden in the quarter-finals, while Croatia is hoping to reach the finals after they failed to do it in France 1998.
Croatia vs. England
Three-Way: 1: Croatia +260; X: +210 Draw; 2: England +135
Spread +0.5: Croatia -154; England +127
Total 2.5 goals: Over +150; Under -200
The Blazers are one of the biggest surprises at the World Cup and now they have a chance to achieve something that even their golden generation failed to do in 1998 – to reach the finals. As it was the case with Denmark in the Round of 16, Croatia eliminated Russia on the penalty shootout in the quarter-finals despite having a 2-1 lead only five minutes before the second extra time end, but the hosts managed to equalize and force the game to the penalties. However, Danijel Subasic was their hero again as he saved the penalties from Smolov and Fernandes to propel his team to the semis.
Croatia impressed in the group stage after finishing in the top spot ahead of Argentina, collecting maximum nine points with three victories; alongside Uruguay and Belgium, they are the only team to win all three games. Still, Zlatko Dalic’s side couldn’t get the job done in the regular 90 minutes against Denmark and Russia in the knockout phase, but goalkeeper Subasic proved to be their savior in the past two rounds. Croatia’s chances to win the World Cup are now +500, while the Blazers are +125 to reach the finals.
The Three Lions perhaps displayed their best performance at the World Cup as they eliminated Sweden 2-0 in the quarter-finals, and although the Blue-Yellow tried to get back in the tilt, the fantastic Jordan Pickford prevented them from equalizing with a couple of top-drawer saves. Once again, England proved to be lethal from the set-pieces and scored both of the goals with headers; first Harry Maguire and then Dele Alli. Gareth Southgate’s side was excellent in the defense and it turned out that a 3-5-2 formation suits them well as they easily transform from defense to attack, and it’s going to be interesting to see how Croatia will cope with it.
England secured the place in the Round of 16 thanks to a pair of wins in the opening two games, while they decided not to go for three points in the final group stage game against Belgium. That seemed to be the right decision as they received an easier part of the draw, avoiding Brazil in the quarter-final and getting Sweden instead. Their win over Colombia on the penalties was England’s first-ever shootout win at the World Cup, and it looks like they broke the curse, so it is no surprise why they are highly motivated to go all the way for the first time since 1966 when England hosted the tournament. England’s chances to win the World Cup are now +250, while the Three Lions are -153 to reach the finals.
- Over 2.5 goals occurred in four out of the previous five H2H encounters
- Croatia conceded in the last three matches
- England allowed a goal in four out of five games at the World Cup
- Both teams scored in five out of six H2H duels
England is a favorite at +135, but it is interesting to note that none of the previous six H2H meetings ended without a winner, and considering Croatia’s displays in the knockout stage here, we could see a draw on this one. However, I doubt that the Blazers will play the third penalty shootout in a row, and they could be a little bit tired after spending much more time on the pitch than the Englishmen, so I am giving an advantage to the Three Lions.