By Anis Bazza
16th November 2018
With Wayne Rooney’s farewell amicably handled, Gareth Southgate and his England side now look towards their Sunday afternoon clash with Croatia, a fixture that could see England win their group and reach next year’s UEFA Nations Finals – or be relegated to League B.
England vs Croatia: odds and permutations
The Three Lions come into this match-up priced up as the betting favourites by the William Hill traders with their odds picked at 88/100. Zlatko Dalić’s side bet at a 3/1 tip for the win as they seek to consolidate their position at the top of Group A4.
A sharing of the spoils of war – which could see England drop to League B – is projected at 13/5 in the match-day betting. Our England vs Croatia predictions and betting tips however back a tough-fought win for England.
In the UEFA Nations League, if a team is level on points, they are then split by head-to-head records including the away goals rule if necessary; all before goal difference is considered.
And since England drew blanks in a goalless draw with Croatia back in October, a score draw in London this Sunday would see them go down.
The only result that would see England neither reach the semi-finals nor suffer relegation would be a goalless draw.
England vs Croatia: predictions
Gareth Southgate’s men swatted USA away at Wembley Stadium on Thursday night, coming out on top in emphatic fashion.
Jesse Lingard, Trent Alexander-Arnold and debutant Callum Wilson all scored while youngsters Jadon Sancho and Harry Winks impressed.
Croatia meanwhile shocked Spain on home turf, just a month after losing 6-0 to the same side. A late goal from Tin Jedvaj sealed a 3-2 victory and now gives The Blazers a chance to top their group.
The World Cup finalists’ have failed to win either of their two away games since June and England’s record of four wins and a draw in their last five games means they trade as the betting favourites.
Read on for our England vs Croatia predictions and betting tips.
Head-to-head record (most recent first): Croatia 0-0 England, Croatia 1-2 England, England 5-1 Croatia, Croatia 4-1, England 2-3 Croatia.
England vs Croatia predictions: correct score, best bet, scorer tips
Correct score: England to win 2-1, odds betting at 7/1
The first of our England vs Croatia predictions and betting tips see us back a win and ultimately a topping of the group when the Blazers visit Wembley on Sunday.
Gareth Southgate’s’ side appear to have evolved from their World Cup showing, doing away with the back five that brought them so much success in the summer and trying to play more proactive football.
The results so far have been impressive and our projection is that trend will continue against a Croatia side that hasn’t looked as potent as they were in Russia.
If we want to be a top team we can’t get to 3-0 and suddenly decide not to play without the ball. We have to play with intelligence right through the game. We were very keen that we moved on from the World Cup as quickly as possible
The Croats meanwhile have scored only six goals in their five games since the World Cup with three of those coming earlier this week against Spain. They drew 1-1 with a Cristiano Ronaldo-less Portugal before succumbing to an embarrassing 6-0 defeat to Spain.
The Manchester City forward stole the show in England’s last UEFA Nations League outing by scoring a superb brace to end his three-year national side goal drought and we’re backing him to score against elite opposition again in the second instalment of our England vs Croatia predictions.
Sterling has been in magnificent form for club and country in the past month with five goals and three assists in his past six games. Having not featured against the Americans, the 23-year-old forward will surely be rested and raring to get going against Croatia.
Unlike his past year with the national team where he had to perform an industrious role behind Harry Kane, Sterling now operates in a wide role where he can get into goal-scoring positions and record shots on goal.
We fancy Sterling to continue his goal-scoring trend and kick-start his striking record for England.
The final instalment of our England vs Croatia predictions and betting tips sees us project an England win and over 2.5 goals.
Betting on over 2.5 goals would’ve paid out in each of the last two fixtures for both sides and having earlier tipped a tight England win, we reckon this bet should be well worth your consideration.
With ample firepower on both sides and recent tendency to score goals – odds of 9/5 should be enticing enough for you to ponder over.
England vs Croatia predictions: Opta stats
- England have lost just two of their last 27 matches on home soil (W21 D4 L2), with both defeats arriving at Wembley (1-2 vs Spain in September and 1-2 vs Netherlands in March 2016).
- Last time out, Callum Wilson became the first player to score on his debut for England since Marcus Rashford in May 2016. The last England player to score in his first two appearances for the Three Lions was Rickie Lambert in 2013.
- Harry Kane has failed to score in each of his last seven England appearances, his longest goalless drought. However, Kane provided two assists in his last game versus Spain, as many as registered in his previous 33.
Anis grew up supporting Manchester City but found joy and solace across Europe’s major football leagues. Increasingly passionate about NBA, he is interested in and has written extensively about different aspects of sport across the years, previously working at Sky Sports News and Sport360 newspaper in Dubai. He studied Journalism at University but spent a large portion of his academic years building City Watch instead - the largest independent Manchester City Twitter account and website.