UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE: Croatia vs England

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Match Analysis

Croatia vs England, Stadion HNK Rijeka
Friday 12th October, Kick-off: 19:45

Key stats:

– Croatia beat England 2-1 AET at this summer’s World Cup
– Both teams have scored in the last four meetings
– Over 4.5 goals in three of their last four meetings
– Croatia are winless since their World Cup win over England
– Spain partner both teams in their Nations League group.


England are travelling to Croatia looking for revenge after their semi-final heartbreak. It’s been almost three months since that night in Moscow, with Southgate looking to build on a successful summer for his Three Lions.

Croatia are also looking for progression. Their loss in the World Cup final to France was expected, however, the reception they received as they returned home was remarkable; will that light the fire for future successes for a talented group of players? There is no doubt this has been a ‘golden generation’ for Croatia and with an ageing side they may be targeting the 2020 Euros as their next, and potentially last, big chance.

Southgate has called up further youth to his young squad. The likes of James Maddison, Jadon Sancho and Mason Mount will make the journey to Rijeka on Friday; it’ll be interesting to see how many minutes – if any – they get as Southgate looks to get England’s first points on the board in the Nations League.

Last time out Croatia lost 6-0 to a fluid, dominant Spain side. Dalic’s side were near enough at full strength; the omission of Lovren at the back may have proved a big catalyst to the six goals they leaked.

Having conceded eleven goals in their last three matches, Croatia will be wary of the threat England possess upfront. Harry Kane looks to have found his shooting boots again, with Sterling, Rashford and Welbeck chomping at the bit for a start.

I can’t see the recent trend of goals between these two continuing on Friday. Southgate will set his side out not to concede early in Rijeka, using the pace of his forward three to break on the counter. A drab first half may come to life in the second, but it’s unlikely there will be more than a goal between these two well-matched sides.

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France v Iceland

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Belgium v Switzerland

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