England and Croatia square off in Moscow for a spot in the 2018 World Cup final. Croatia has never made a final and England hasn’t been to one since
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2018-07-11T22:00:00.000Z World Cup 2018: Croatia vs. England
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Raheem Sterling Lee Smith/Reuters
How to watch: In the U.S., Fox and Telemundo have the broadcast at 2 p.m., but you can stream it here.
England vs. Croatia: The Odds
England is a slight favorite in this game, with the odds translating into a 60 percent chance to advance. The over/under is two goals. Harry Kane is the big favorite to score the first goal, at 4-1, followed by his teammate Raheem Sterlin at 9-1. Mario Mandzukic is Croatia’s most likely candidate at 11-1.
England vs. Croatia: The Fans
Both fan bases seem to sense the history inherent in tonight’s matchup — a first World Cup final for Croatia, a first since 1966 for England — and have turned out in force. The English are singing already, and they roared for their team. But the Croatians have numbers and full voices, too. The atmosphere, at least, will be more electric than France-Belgium was last night. It would be great if the match lived up to it.
“I am not surprised that Croatia have identified Raheem as a key player,” Southgate said this week. “If you look at all of our attacking patterns and the way that our front four have combined and played, he has been instrumental in that.”
England’s Starting Lineup
The lineups are out and England doesn’t change a thing:
Goalkeeper: 1 Jordan Pickford (Everton)
Defenders: 6 Harry Maguire (Leicester), 5 John Stones (Manchester City), 12 Kieran Trippier (Tottenham), 2 Kyle Walker (Manchester City), 18 Ashley Young (Manchester United)
Midfielders: 20 Dele Alli (Tottenham), 8 Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), 7 Jesse Lingard (Manchester United)
Forwards: 9 Harry Kane (Tottenham), 10 Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
And why would they, with everything working so well this far. That’s the same three-man back line, with Walker, Stones and Maguire, flanked by Trippier and Young, who will again be looking to get forward and help in the attack. Henderson gets the lonely duty in central midfield, and his teammates (Lingard, Dele Alli, Trippier and Young) will need to make sure he doesn’t get overrun there by Modric and Rakitic.
Croatia’s Starting Lineup
For Croatia, Marcelo Brozovic has been chosen ahead of Andrej Kramaric. Brozovic was the pick against Denmark in the round of 16, but Kramaric played in the quarterfinal against Russia. The choice of Brozovic is a defense-oriented move, as he is a deeper-lying midfielder, while Kramaric plays just behind the striker, Mario Mandzukic.
Goalkeeper: 23 Danijel Subasic (Monaco)
Defenders: 21 Domagoj Vida (Besiktas), 3 Ivan Strinic (Milan), 6 Dejan Lovren (Liverpool), 2 Sime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid)
Midfielders: 10 Luka Modric (Real Madrid), 7 Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), 11 Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan)
Forwards: 17 Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), 4 Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan), 18 Ante Rebic (Fiorentina)
England vs. Croatia: The History
England hasn’t played Croatia since qualifying for the 2010 World Cup. England won both matches with ease, 5-1 at home and 4-1 away. England’s stars in those games like Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard. are no longer part of the national team setup. But one of Croatia’s two goals was scored by 22-year-old Mario Mandzukic, who at 32 scored the goal in the victory over Denmark in the round of 16.
Croatia’s Lone Premier League Representative
England’s entire team makes its living in the Premier League, and the league had players scattered throughout Tuesday’s first semifinal, too. But Croatia has only one player who earns his living in England: Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren.