Croatia vs England
Wednesday 11th July 2018
FIFA World Cup 2018, Semi-finals, Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
Live on ITV 1 – Kick-Off: 19:00
England face Croatia in their first World Cup semi-final since 1990 looking to re-write the wrongs of 28 years ago.
England’s performance against Sweden was something different. It was a calm, controlled, professional win; something I have never witnessed from the Three Lions in a major tournament. There was an air of confidence about England. Despite starting slowly, they stayed calm and got the first goal through Harry Maguire. From then, it was complete domination. Dele Alli’s first goal of the World Cup sealed the win as England professionally managed their way into the last four. The cries of ‘football’s coming home’ are growing louder.
Another pleasing thing for Gareth Southgate is that this match was also the first in which Harry Kane hadn’t scored in. The fear that if Kane didn’t find the net, neither would England, has been eased with goals provided from elsewhere in the side. Raheem Sterling put in a much-improved display against Sweden and was a constant menace running in-behind their defence. Sterling still faced some criticism, however, for his lack of cutting edge in front of goal. He needs a goal to get the monkey off his back.
Croatia moved into the last four after a second consecutive penalty shoot-out win. This time it was Russia who fell short, as Subasic once again proved to be the hero. Russia’s two goals will have given England cause for optimism. The second, in particular, from a set piece showed that whilst Croatia have fantastically gifted footballers, they can be exploited. Stopping Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic pulling the strings in midfield will be Southgate’s biggest worry. Modric, in particular, has shone during this tournament. Mario Mandzukic always provides a goal threat and can be deadly in the air, so concentration will be key for the Three Lions’ backline.
Cuneyt Cakir is the referee for this game. The Turkish official has averaged 3.99 yellow and 0.21 red cards per match in 137 international matches. He’s also awarded 0.27 penalties per match during those games. Therefore, I would advise a maximum booking points total of 40+ for this game.
This will be England’s toughest game to date. Both teams will come into this match feeling it is their best ever chance to reach a World Cup final. I think it will be a draw in 90 minutes, but I could see England snatching the win in extra time. If not, it could go all the way to penalties. When has there ever gone wrong before?
Prediction: Croatia 1-1 England
Suggested Tips – Croatia vs England – (BET365):
- Draw 1-1 – (link no longer available).
Suggested Tips – Croatia vs England – (SKYBET):
- Popular RequestABet – Harry Maguire or John Stones to score a header – 13/2.
- Anytime Goalscorer – Harry Kane – 11/8.
- England to win in Extra Time – 9/2.
- RequestABet Specials Up to 10/1 – Croatia v England – Rakitic to score, Croatia to win, BTTS, 4+ corners each team and 20+ booking points each team – 66/1. (Possible cover bet – 0.25pt).
- FootyAccums RequestABets – Alli to score, 3+ corners each team, Rakitic & Young to be carded (90 mins) and England to qualify – 150/1. (Outsider/Longshot – 0.25pt).
- Scorecast Boost (Double Chance) – Luca Modric to score first and Croatia win either 2-1 or 3-1 – 60/1. (NB 2). (Possible cover bet – 0.25pt).
- RequestABet Specials 80/1 and above – Modric & Kane to score, Draw 1-1 ,and Lovren & Young to be carded – 450/1.
- Price Boost – Jesse Lingard to score outside the area in 90 mins – 14/1.
- RequestABet Specials Up to 10/1 – Croatia v England – Over 1.5 goals, Kramaric 1+ shots on target & Kane 2+ shots on target, 8+ match corners & 10+ booking points each team – 6/1. (NB).
- RequestABet Specials Up to 10/1 – Croatia v England – Over 1.5 goals, 3+ Croatia Corners, 4+ England Corners and 30+ Match Booking Points – 15/8. (NAP).
- RequestABet Specials 80/1 and above – Croatia v England – Over 0.5 goals, 3+ corners each team and Lovren, Vrsaljko & Henderson to be carded – 100/1. (Added – 16:06 GMT).
Keep visiting Tips and Previews ahead of games to get our suggested tips and correct score picks for the remainders tomorrow’s second semi-final. Tips updated at 16:08 GMT on 11th July 2018.
FIFA World Cup 2018 – Promotional Offer by BET365