Big Game Focus: Croatia v England

The Big Game Focus takes a look at the largest game of the day, giving you possible team line-ups, form and betting advice.

Croatia and England will meet in the second semi-final of the World Cup at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow tonight. At stake will be a spot alongside France in Sunday’s final.

Both sides will be looking to make history for their respective countries. Croatia will be aiming to reach the final for the first time ever. Gareth Southgate’s young charges could also become only the second English side to qualify for the final, after the famous 1966 side who went on to win the World Cup.

Betting tips

England have been first out of the blocks in their matches in this World Cup. They fielded a weakened side that lost 1-0 to Belgium in the final game of their group, but they have scored first in every other match so far. Croatia had to fight back to eventually end up eliminating Russia and Denmark in the knockout rounds. Odds are 1.85 for England to Score First Goal here.

Apart from that Belgium game, there have been two goals or more in each match featuring England so far. The same is true for every single game Croatia have played in Russia up to this point. Bet on Over 1.5 Goals at amazing odds of 1.50 here.

Zlatko Dalić’s Croatia started their World Cup with some truly impressive performances in the group stage, but they have needed penalty shoot-outs to win both their knockout matches. England did also win their last 16 game against Colombia via spot-kicks, but they were more assured as they ran out 2-0 winners against Sweden in the quarter-finals.

The Three Lions also have a little bit of history on their side, as they have won the last two matches 5-1 and 4-1 against Croatia. Back England as the Team to Advance at odds of 1.55 here.

Team news

Atletico Madrid right-back Sime Vrsaljko is a doubt for Croatia and is likely to be replaced by former Tottenham man Vedran Corluka. Goalkeeper Danijel Subašić is also an injury concern.

England expect to have a full squad available. Gareth Southgate has barely tinkered with his squad in Russia, and he is most likely to stick with the line-up that has served him so well.

Likely line-ups

Croatia: Subašić; Corluka, Vida, Lovren, Strinić; Modrić, Rakitić; Rebić, Kramarić, Perišić; Mandžukić

England: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire; Walker, Lingard, Henderson, Alli, Young; Sterling, Kane