Friday evening at 19:45, Croatia meets England at Rijeka in a second round match of the UEFA League. The match will be played with closed gates because the Croatian stadium is still suspended after the 2015 incident when the fans drew a swastika on the playing court before the match with Italy in the Euro 2016 preliminaries.
Sotuhgate once again surprised the media in England after calling 4 new players in the Albion group. The English selector, loyal to a 3-funded system that favors maintaining the possession, has also focused on the second league to form his new team. So Dunk (Brighton), Maddison (Leicester), Mount (Derby County) and Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) were summoned. The latter gave 9 decisive passes to the start of the Bundesliga season and is a footballer Southgate has long watched.
Croatia tackles the match without many basic players!
England seems to be in a good time, returning to Europe, and the white-red national team has lost only 3 of the last 15 international trips. However, Croatia boasts even better home equity, where it has not lost 11 games! However, Dalic’s national has somewhat less modestly following the World Cup England duel: lost to France (2-4), drew Portugal (1-1) and suffered the most dramatic defeat history, 0-6 with Spain, in the League of Nations. Without Mandzukic, withdrawn from work, Dalic relies heavily on the inspiration of Rebic, Kramaric and Perisic, on Friday.
England has 4 wins in the 8 straight duels with Croatia, and the Balkans have three successes. Interestingly, in this direct duel I always had lots of goals! The British have enlisted 7 of their last 8 Balkan duels, which will tackle the match Friday night without basemen such as Subasic, Lovren, Vrsaljko or Brozovic. But there are no middle-class stars – Modric, Rakitic and Kovacic. With at least one goal scored in 11 of his last 13 matches, England will not defend in Rijeka and will be forced to attack for victory because a new failure would lead to relegation in the second series of the competition!
THE PROBABLE TEAMS
Croatia: Livakovic – Mitrovic, Jeddah, Vida, Pivaric – Modric, Rakitic, Kovacic – Perisic, Kramaric, Rebic
England: Pickford – Walker, Stones, Gomez – Barkley, Dier, Maddison, Trippier – Sterling – Rashford, Kane
PREDICTION: Both teams to score / NO @ 1.78