Luzhniki Arena in Moscow is the place where Croatia and England will play for a spot in the big final of the World Cup 2018. Obviously, for both teams this is a game of extreme importance, so you can expect the players to give their very best. Tired legs from previous matches won’t mean anything – both sides will give all they got. So, which side will get to compete for the trophy on Sunday at this very same stadium? Maybe you’ll find the answer in this match preview!
Winning the bronze at the World Cup 1998 was their biggest achievement. Twenty years later, Croatia’s ambitions are even higher. They’re aiming the final! And they have every right to keep that dream alive, as their squad is made up of some really good players. This team has arguably the best midfield on the planet with Real Madrid’s Modric having the time of his life. There’s another Los Blancos’ player in this team – Mateo Kovacic and we also mustn’t remember Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic.
Surely, they’re extremely strong in the center of the pitch, but this doesn’t mean they’re lacking quality in other areas. This team has allowed only 4 goals so far, which shows how strong their defense is. Their goalie, Daniel Subasic has been impressive in the last couple of games, particularly against Denmark and Russia where he was the hero of the penalty shoot-outs.
Speaking of Subasic, he did really well in the game against Russia, especially considering that he got himself injured a few minutes before the extra time started. Speaking of injuries, a few other Croatia players are struggling with fitness at this point. Sime Vrsaljko is definitely out, while Mario Mandzukic also looks jaded. Nevertheless, this is the most important match in the career for most of these players, so it’s guaranteed they’re gonna give their utmost, even if that means risking a serious injury.
England players are at least equally motivated as those playing for Croatia. The whole nation went crazy with their current success and the players can feel it. Moreover, a huge number of their fans is expected to be in Moscow on Wednesday evening to help the team get one step closer to achieving their 5-decades-long dream of winning the World Cup again.
Surely, they have the motivation to “bring football home”, but do they have the quality needed to go past Croatia? Well, judging by the player quality, it seems that England are stronger than Croatia in all parts of the pitch apart from the midfield. Unfortunately for them, midfield is often the most important part.
Another worry for England fans is that despite being in the semis, this team still haven’t had a real challenge on this tournament. Unlike Croatia who have destroyed Argentina, England only won against teams considered underdogs – Tunisia, Panama, Colombia, Sweden. They also played against Belgium, but lost that game 1:0.
Subasic – Lovren, Vida, Corluka, Pivaric – Kovacic, Modric, Rakitic – Perisic, Rebic, Mandzukic
Pickford – Stones, Maguire, Walker, Trippier, Young – Henderson, Lingard, Alli, Sterling – Kane
Croatia vs England Match Prediction
I think the real battle will be played in the center of the pitch, so we probably won’t see many goal attempts early on in the game. Real excitement probably awaits us in the second half. And that’s when anything can happen. Croatia are likely to create more chances due to their impressive midfield, but with Kane up front England seem much more lethal. For this reason, I think we’ll see at least a goal on each end in the second half.
Croatia vs England Betting Tips
- Half Time Draw @1.94 (Unibet)
- BTS @2.08 (Unibet)
- Second Half BTS @4.20 (Unibet)