England meet Croatia in a winner-takes-all showdown as both sides look to top Group A4 of UEFA Nations League, with a spot in the final four at stake.

Spain are currently top with six points but have played all of their group matches, meaning that whoever wins here will top the group and book their spot in next Summer’s Finals. 

Team news

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England have a fully fit squad available minus the absent Wayne Rooney who only featured in their 3-0 friendly win over USA. 

Croatia will be without Ivan Rakitic after the Barcelona midfielder suffered a serious injury during their 3-2 win over Spain on Thursday.  

 

Stat Attack

  • England have won, drawn and lost one apiece from three meetings with Croatia in major competitions (W1, D1, L1). On each of those occasions, England were classed as the away team including the first leg last month in Croatia which finished 0-0. 
  • Only three meetings haven’t seen both teams score, of which their first and last meetings finished goalless whilst a clash in 2008 Euros Qualifying saw Croatia win 2-0 at home. 
  • In four meetings on English soil, England are unbeaten in three of those meetings but Croatia have scored on their last three trips over here. 
  • England’s Harry Kane has already one more goal than he managed in entirety of 2017, netting seven times compared to six last year. 

 

Prediction

Memories of July’s World Cup Semi-Final heartache will be fresh in the minds of England players and fans, but now is the time to wreak revenge on home soil by winning here. 

I am expecting a thriller here if England play with the attacking quality that they showed against USA, although it should be a more fierce performance with in form Harry Kane and Ross Barkley amongst those likely to start. 

Croatia meanwhile are dangerous all over the pitch and won’t really miss Rakitic in midfield but Danijel Subasic will be a huge miss in goal. 

Ultimately, I can see a few goals but if the Three Lions are more clinical than they were in July, Croatia will pay for Subasic’s absence here. 

Prediction: England 2-1 Croatia

Result: England 2-1 Croatia

 

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