Preview - Croatia vs England 13 October 18

Started by Harry85, Oct 12, 2018, 02:27 PM

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Harry85

Uefa Nations League A Group 4
Croatia vs England
Saturday, September 13th, 2018
03:45am (GMT +8 Timing)
Stadium:  Stadion HNK Rijeka

Croatia:
Last five matches form: W W L D L
Average goals per match (last ten games): 1.70
Average goals against per match (last ten games): 1.70
Top Scorer: Ivan Perišić (22)

England:
Last five matches form: W L L L W
Average goals per match (last ten games): 1.60
Average goals against per match (last ten games): 1.00
Top Scorer: Harry Kane (19)


One of the big games in the Uefa Nations League this week comes with a rerun of the World Cup semi-final, as Croatia play host to England. The Croatians broke England's hearts in extra time that day, will it be more of the same here or will Gareth Southgate's men gain some modicum of revenge?

Despite that stellar World Cup campaign - eventually finishing runners up to France - Croatia head into this fixture on  the back of their worst result in recent memory having been destroyed 6-0 by Spain last time out. This will be their first game back in front of their own fans since the World Cup and they will surely put up a better showing here.

England also lost their opening Uefa Nations League match to Spain when going down 2-1 at home. They have since rebounded with a 1-0 win over Switzerland.

Following the international retirement of Mario Mandzukic, Croatia continue to seek a reliable replacement up front. The bulk of their midfield - their biggest strength - remains intact, but they do look to face significant issues in the defensive and goalkeeping positions due to injuries.

Gareth Southgate's latest England squad has been given an injection of youth as Southgate continues to look to the future. Raheem Sterling also returns.

Not an easy one to call. Home advantage plays in favour of the Croatians here, but overall the England squad has a more rounded look to it. A score draw seems a likely outcome.




Prediction: Croatia 2 - 2 England

Harry85

#1
Oct 14, 2018, 05:55 PM Last Edit: Oct 14, 2018, 06:00 PM by Harry85
Half time: 0 - 0
Full time: 0 - 0
Shots:  5 - 3
Shots on target: 3 - 2
Corner Kicks: 2 - 4
Possession: 46% - 54%

Nothing to trouble the scoresheet in this one, but the siddes did at least keep the referee busy with yellow cards. Felix Brych taking the names of Mateo Kovacic, Dejan Lovren and Tin Jedvaj of Croatia and Jordan Henderson, John Stones and Raheem Sterling of England.

No fans in Rijeka, with this being played behind closed doors due to an unfortunate incident in Croatia's last home game. If ever there was a game that deserved to be played in front of no fans at all, it may well have been this one as Croatia and England served up a snore-fest.

Very few chances in the opening period; England coming closest with a typical set piece routine seeing Eric Dier flick a header across goal which came back off the far post.

The visitors probably also had the better chances after the break. Marcus Rashford guilty of spurning two gilt edged opportunities.

Not great from World Cup runners up Croataia, but it was at least a step back in the right direction following their 6-0 mauling at the hands of Spain in their opening game in this group. For all that they played some nice football through the middle at times, they simply don't look anything like the same threat without the now retired Mario Mandzukic leading the line.

A point apiece leaves both sides with a fair bit of ground to make up with Spain who now sit five points clear of the pair with two games to play. England travel to Spain on Monday evening really needing to win, but a repeat of this performance simply won't get the job done.

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