England vs Croatia Euro 2020 Prediction, Odds & Betting Picks
- England will have to cope with the expectation of being among the Euro 2020 favorites
- Croatia reached the 2018 World Cup final and want to go one better this summer
- England’s attacking quality should see them through at Wembley on Sunday
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England vs Croatia Euro 2020 Odds
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|Match Result and Both Teams to Score||Odds|
England vs Croatia Predictions and Pick
|Back England to win and both teams to score. There are doubts over Gareth Southgate’s side’s defense, which could be exploited by good teams like Croatia. However, England’s attacking quality should bring them a win in their first game of Euro 2020.|
How to Watch England vs Croatia Euro 2020
|England vs Croatia Information|
|Teams||England vs Croatia|
|Location||Wembley Stadium, London, England|
|Time||Sunday, 13 June 2021, 09.00 AM EDT|
|How to watch||ESPN|
England Must Deal With Expectation of Being Among Favorites
Expectations around the England national team were low ahead of the 2018 World Cup. The last tournament had ended in disaster, as Roy Hodgson’s side suffered an embarrassing 2-1 defeat by Iceland in the last 16 of Euro 2016. It was the most ignominious loss England had succumbed to since being defeated by a part-time United States team at the 1950 World Cup. Many expected the Three Lions to fare just as badly in Russia.
Instead, England reached the semi-finals. Granted, they had a favorable route to the last four, facing Colombia and Sweden – neither exactly a global heavyweight – in the previous knockout rounds. It could be argued that they were beaten by the first top team they came up against, and Belgium made light work of Gareth Southgate’s charges in the third-place play-off. Even so, it is undeniable that England exceeded expectations three years ago. More significantly, they made soccer supporters in the country fall in love with the team again.
Expectations are vastly different this time around. England are the bookmakers’ second-favorites to win Euro 2020. They will play all three group games on home soil, while the semi-finals and final will also take place at Wembley. There is a superb crop of young talent coming through, and England have remarkable strength in depth in attacking areas.
There are still some doubts, though. First is in defense, where Harry Maguire’s fitness problems have given Southgate a headache. The backline looks like it could be exploited by top opposition; it is unclear how the likes of Tyrone Mings and Conor Coady will fare given they are untested at this level. The other question mark is over how the players will deal with the pressure. Sunday’s meeting with Croatia should provide some answers in that regard.
Croatia a Team on the Way Down but Still Capable Of Success
Finishing as World Cup runners-up in 2018 was a magnificent achievement for Croatia. After all, theirs is a country of just four million people, and the national team entered the competition in Russia with various off-field problems threatening to hold them back. Reaching the final – by beating England in the last four, no less – was the pinnacle of Croatian soccer.
Repeating the feat at Euro 2020 will be tough. The bookmakers list the Vatreni as tenth-favorites, behind the Netherlands (who have not played a tournament match since 2014) and Denmark. Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic, two of the key players at the World Cup in Russia, have now retired from international duty. The country’s ‘golden generation’ does not have many more tournaments left in it. Captain and star player Luka Modric is now 35 years ago.
Croatia should not be underestimated, though. A midfield duo of Modric and Marcelo Brozovic is high on technical ability, while Ivan Perisic and Ante Rebic are lively, direct runners out wide. It is unclear who will get the nod upfront now that Mandzukic has departed the scene, but the manager Zlatko Dalic has options in the form of the creative, deep-lying Andrej Kramaric and the 6ft 4in center-forward Bruno Petkovic.
Like England, there is a degree of concern about Croatia’s defensive unit. Duje Caleta-Car was linked with a move to Liverpool in January and had a solid season with Marseille, but he is not guaranteed a place in the starting line-up. Dejan Lovren is ageing and Sime Vrsaljko did not play much for Atletico Madrid last term. Croatia are also vulnerable at set-pieces, which was a major strength for England at the World Cup.
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England’s Attack Should Fire Them to Victory at Wembley
All things considered, England is right to fancy their chances against Croatia. There has been talking of Southgate perhaps preferring a second-place finish in Group D, as that could potentially lead to a more favorable route to the semi-finals. Such discussions are dangerous, however. England should try and win every game they face, starting with their first one on Sunday.
There is some truth to the maxim that defenses win tournaments, and the worries about England’s backline are justifiable. At the same time, the attack is buzzing with potential and whichever of Raheem Sterling, Jadon Sancho, Phil Foden, Mason Mount, Jack Grealish, and Marcus Rashford are selected on Sunday, striker, and captain Harry Kane will have top-class support.
Croatia will believe they can find the net at Wembley, particularly as Maguire might not be fit in time to feature. England look set to line up with a three-man defense, and their opponents will back themselves to pick holes in it from time to time.
England’s attacking might should prove too strong for Croatia, though. Back a win for Southgate’s side and goals at both ends.