Croatia vs. England
July 11, 2018 2:00 PM ET
Line: England +131 Draw +215 Croatia +225
Goal Line: England -0.5 (+133) Croatia +0.5 (-148)
Free FIFA World Cup Pick Croatia vs. England
Croatia managed to survive two consecutive 120 minute games and two penalty shootouts to advance to this semifinal matchup. However, the cost for playing such grueling matches cost them a couple of players who have injuries entering the game and the toll of running so much will definitely play a factor and this matchup could not get much worse with England’s pressing style and high paced attack Croatia will need to dig deep. Sime Vrsalijko looks to be out and replaced by Verdan Corluka in the center of the defense which will push Vida to the right side which was seen at the end of the Russia match. The good news for Croatia is it looks like the hero of those penalty shootouts goalkeeper Danijel Subasic will be able to push through a hamstring injury he picked up at the end of the last game but did need to miss training on Tuesday along with center back Dejan Lovern who also looks to be ready to play on Wednesday.
England has scored 11 goals in this World Cup to tie for the most in a single World Cup with 6 of those coming from the golden boot leader and captain Harry Kane. England had a bit of an injury scare themselves as Jordan Henderson looked to potentially miss this clash but was able to change on Tuesday and will allow manager Gareth Southgate to have his full squad to select from. Raheem Sterling has been roundly criticized by English fans but has done a lot of work behind Kane to create space and while he does have only 1 assist and has yet to score and he will more than likely find himself with another chance to be the hero for this team if Southgate continues to stick with him. England’s defense should be a little worrying as they have just 1 clean sheet in their 5 matches and have yet to see an attack quite like Croatia or play a game with this much pressure.
Last 5 Games
Free FIFA World Cup Prediction Croatia vs. England
As both teams enter this game they each understand this could be their best chance to win the World Cup for a long time with the fickle nature of this sport. Croatia has never made a final at the World Cup while England has just a 1966 trophy to show for itself. Croatia’s injury as well as off field drama could make this game very difficult for them and they will need their midfield to keep ahold of possession and not make sloppy mistakes and can’t be pushed into making fouls with England in an attacking position. The referee for this game is averaging 4.31 yellow cards per game and hasn’t shown himself to be overly aggressive with trying to make the match about him. Although the injury to Vrsalijko is not ideal against Russia Vida looked very dangerous and was able to get a goal off a set piece and it will be something to watch if Vida can maintain the energy to get forward and track back for 90 or more minutes. England has a path in front of them they could only dream of as fans finally have reasons to believe. Many have jumped on the English bandwagon but they have yet to face the task this Croatian midfield will provide with Mandzukic creating matchup problems for an England back three that hasn’t seen a true test yet and the inexperience will play a part in this match. Croatia has everything working against them but the talent and composure of their leaders will prove to be too much and should at least be able to force extra time which is enough to win your bet.
[button type=”big” color=“Red”] Pick: Croatia +0.5 [/button]