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Croatia v England tips: Can Three Lions avenge World Cup exit?

| 12.10.2018

It’s been only 93 days since their World Cup semi-final defeat, but England will face Croatia once again tonight.

Gareth Southgate’s men need a result too. They lost their opening A4 match 2-1 at home to Spain last month.

But little has changed since that meeting in Russia last summer. The Croatians remain an excellent, well-drilled and technical side who are adept on the ball.

There won’t be much of an atmosphere to cheer on the sides, with this game being played behind closed doors. But can the Three Lions get something from their trip to Rijeka?

Match odds

Our traders reckon this will be a close one. Croatia are slight favourites at 17/10.

But Southgate’s lads are tipped to be in contention at 7/4. There’s 2/1 about a draw.

Talking tactics

Despite the progress under Southgate, England remain short of ideas when they’re against teams who keep possession.

That was greatly evident against Croatia in Russia, and again versus Spain at Wembley. Southgate just doesn’t have the players at his disposal in a 3-5-2 system.

Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mateo Kovacic will dictate play for the hosts from midfield. They’ll look to pick out Ivan Perisic, Ante Rebic and Andrej Kramaric.

It worked to great effect in the summer, so England’s best bet will be set-pieces and counter-attacks.

There’s a chance Southgate may go 4-3-3 tonight too in order to try and counter the Croatian midfielders.

Ben Chilwell could come in at left-back for his first start, while Ross Barkley could be the driving force in midfield.

Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford are expecting to bring pace alongside Harry Kane up front, while James Maddison and teenage wonderkid Jadon Sancho could feature later on.

Goalscorer odds

With five goals already for Tottenham Hotspur this season, Harry Kane is showing no sign of burn-out from a busy summer. The 25-year-old is 7/2 favourite to open the scoring tonight.

He’s followed by Croatia duo Rebic and Ivan Santini at 6/1. Rashford netted England’s opener against both Switzerland and Spain, and is 13/2 to do so again, while Sterling is 8s.

Midfield maestros Modric and Rakitic are 11/1 and 14/1 respectively.

In the anytime market, Kane is again favourite at 7/5, with Rashford 13/5 and Sterling 3/1. Modric is 4s with Rakitic back at 5/1.

Match info:

Where: HNK Rijeka Stadium

When: 7.45pm

How to watch: Sky Sports Main Event

Click here for all our Croatia v England odds.

All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication



Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.