It’s the match England fans have been waiting for and the game many feared we would never see. It may have been postponed for 12 months, but on Sunday, England take on Croatia at Wembley Stadium in London. Fans will be in attendance to cheer on the players, and the game will be broadcast to a global audience live on television from 14:00 GMT. The scene is set; now all that’s left to do is sit back and enjoy the show. But before that, be sure to read the thoughts of our expert team of football betting content writers who attempt to predict the outcome of this one.
England hold the home advantage for this game and each of their three group matches. They play the Auld Enemy, Scotland, on matchday two before signing off against the Czech Republic. Fans hope that by the time the out-of-form Czechs arrive in the big smoke, the group will be wrapped up, and the coaching staff can begin to plan for the knockout stages. With both semi-finals and the final also played at Wembley, it’s little surprise to see many pundits have picked England to win their first-ever European Championship.
The history books show these nations have met ten times in the past, and there’s little between the pair in the head-to-head stats. That familiarity will ensure both teams can bypass the sparring session and get right down to business. England have won half of the previous ten games, with Croatia boasting three wins and two games ending in a draw.
England have won their last six
England did as expected in the Euro 2020 qualifiers are eased through the games to secure their place in the tournament proper. They impressed in their pool and made it through as winners of the group despite a few last-minute nerves. That’s nothing new to followers of the Three Lions who have watched their team blast through qualifying only to fall flat when things get serious. Will they suffer that pain again, or can Gareth Southgate’s young, hungry and ambitious squad go all the way?
The home team set up for this match on an incredible run of form and have lost only twice this season. Since September 2020, the stats show England have played 13, drawn one and won their other ten matches. Confidence is high in the Wembley dressing room thanks to a six-match winning run that includes a victory over Iceland and Poland. During that purple patch, we’ve seen England score 15 goals and concede only one. The spare came in a 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Poland earlier this year.
Southgate’s Lion’s signed off with a hard-fought friendly win over Romania last week, edging the game 1-0. The final score doesn’t tell the story of that match as it was a typical friendly with plenty of changes and interruptions that affected the game’s flow. It may be worth noting that each of England’s last two matches has produced 1-0 wins. Could we see the hattrick in this game? Fans would accept three points by any means possible.
Croatia expected to battle for second place
Croatia is the second-favorites with many pundits to come through this group and make it to the tournament’s knockout stages. Regardless of the result of this match, they are in direct competition with the other two teams in the pool who play at Hampden 24 hours after this match – Scotland and the Czech Republic. If Group D goes as expected, England will progress as champions of the pool, with Croatia up against the winner of the game in Glasgow for second place and a spot in the next round. Anything is possible in this tournament, however. Take nothing for granted.
The team coming out of the away dressing room do so on the back of an unconvincing run of form that has seen them manage only three wins in their last ten games. That run consists of five defeats and two draws. That won’t do much to inspire confidence in the underdogs to pull off a major shock on Sunday. Some of the teams Croatia have lost to recently include France, Sweden and Portugal, so perhaps we can cut them a bit of slack. They were also beaten by Belgium last time. The team will be eager to put those results to the back of their mind and concentrate on this challenge.
Croatia’s most recent win came three games ago in the form of a routine 3-0 victory over Malta in a World Cup qualifier. That was a game they were expected to win and did so without fuss, but, perhaps, fans would have liked to have seen a few more goals scored in that one, given the level of the competition. Of course, all will be forgiven if Croatia gets off to a strong start and leaves Wembley with all three points, blowing the group-wide open on matchday one.
England vs Croatia prediction
England hold the home advantage with this match being played at Wembley. They are also the form team of the two involved here, entering with confidence. They are one of the early favorites to lift the trophy and end their wait for European Championship success. They have the quality in their ranks, and it’s now up to the players to deliver.
Croatia shouldn’t be taken lightly. They are good enough to come through this match unscathed and believe a place in the knockout rounds is possible, especially if they can avoid a heavy defeat in London. If England look beyond this opener, they could be made to pay a hefty price by their opponents.
Euro 2020 odds
There are no major surprises in the pre-match betting available at 22bet, with England priced at odds of 1.71 to claim a win at home in front of their fans. Croatia are the underdogs, but they have a bite and won’t go unnoticed at the 5.2 being offered. The draw will net backers a crack at 3.6, which is available now.
As well as the match betting market, there are also several specials available at 22bet on this game. Some of the popular options with bettors include both teams to score, half time/full time, correct score, Harry Kane to score the first goal of the game, handicap and more.
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