With an all-European final on the cards, England (W4, L1 – 1 shootout win) and Croatia (W5 – 2 shootout wins) will battle it out in Moscow to set up a meeting in the final of Russia 2018 with the winner of the Belgium vs France match. France just confirmed move to final aster beat Belgium 1-0 last night.
Croatia continue to deliver on the world stage after knocking out the host nation Russia in the quarter-finals. After conceding just one goal in the group stages where they swept aside Argentina, Nigeria and Iceland, the ‘Blazers’ (CRO) then saw off Denmark (last-16) and Russia (quarter-finals) both on penalties.
Gareth Southgate’s ‘Three Lions’ march on following an impressive 2-0 win over ‘bogey team’ Sweden. Now undefeated in 15 of their last 16 fixtures, England are 11 goals to the good and are particularly effective at set-pieces, with eight of their goals coming from dead-ball situations.
In seven previous H2H meetings in all competitions, England have the advantage with four wins compared to Croatia’s two – with one draw. Their last matchup saw England win 5-1 in the 2009 European qualifiers.
After playing 120 minutes of football against hosts Russia last time out, will the Croatia defence now hold out against the tournaments ‘set-piece’ kings? Or can Croatia take inspiration from their 3-2 victory back in 2007?
Players to watch: While Harry Kane has six goals so far, Croatia’s manager has outlined pace-masterRaheem Sterling as England’s main danger – Sterling has two goals from 42 caps.
Meanwhile, two-goal Luka Modrić has the experience and skill to hurt England from his own set-pieces – he has 14 goals from 111 caps.
Stat attack: Undefeated in their last nine matches, Croatia have seen over 2.5 goals in total in four of their last five meetings with England.
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CROATIA VS ENGLAND 12 JULY 2018 :
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With England scoring five set-piece goals, and Croatia concededing two set-piece goals; could we see another here?
A total of 28 goals between them since their inaugural 1996 meeting, the four-goals per-game average suggest this may be a high-scoring affair.
Will not play
Referee: Cakir C. (Tur)
Venue: Luzhniki Arena (Moscow)