Croatia vs England preview, betting tips and prediction

England manager Gareth Southgate - Football Betting on Freebets.co.uk
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Can England make even more history?

When England came into the World Cup this summer, nobody gave them much chance of going further then the quarter finals. Under the stewardship of Gareth Southgate, an inexperienced, unpopular replacement for Sam Allardyce after allegations surrounding his conduct, they were in good shape, but didn’t have nearly as much quality as the likes of Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Spain or France. There was also the ghost of a group stage exit at the last World Cup four years ago and the defeat to lowly Iceland at Euro 2016 hanging over them, but Southgate’s calm nature and gentle approach has nurtured a squad with no egos and they have ended to going further than all but one of the nations mentioned above.

Having made it past Sweden to reach their first World Cup semi final in 28 years and just their third overall, the Three Lions take on Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The Croats were many people’s pick as the tournament’s most impressive team in the group stages, but they have progressed through the last two rounds in much less convincing style than England, needing penalties to beat both Denmark and hosts Russia. England got past Colombia from the spot but were much more assured against Sweden on Saturday, keeping them at arm’s length for much of the clash in Samara. It will be tough, and England simply cannot allow Luka Modric or Ivan Rakitic any space in midfield, but we believe England can win and book another Moscow date for Sunday afternoon.

Harry Kane is at 7/5 to score anytime,  it given he didn’t score in the last round and is hunting for the Golden Boot, that could be a bet worth taking. Depending on the stake, it could offer good value. Southgate’s men have excelled at set pieces and both Harry Maguire and John Stones have profited, netting three goals between them. The former is at 11/1 and the latter is at 13/1; don’t write them off.

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