Tue, Jul 10, 8:46am by Head Editor
Date and Time: Thursday July 12, 4am AEST
Venue: Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia
TV: SBS, Optus Sport
After a convincing 2-0 win over Sweden, England can qualify for their first World Cup Final since 1966 with a win over Croatia in Moscow on Thursday morning (AEST). This Three Lions squad has a great sense of symmetry about it, that only sport can provide.
Coach Gareth Southgate missed the penalty that saw England lose to Germany the last time the English played in a semifinal of a major tournament, at Euro 1996.
The 47-year-old now has the opportunity to write that wrong, but it won’t be easy against a Croatia side that has had a far harder route to the final four than Southgate’s chargers.
Croatia stars Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic were simply brilliant in their nation’s 3-0 win over Argentina in the group stage, but the side then needed penalty shootouts to beat both Denmark and Russia to reach the final four.
It is hard to read too much into the head to head records between these nations. England holds a slight advantage, winning four of the seven encounters, losing two and drawing one.
The last fixture was way back in 2009 though, with England cruising to a 5-1 win but the game that will stick in every England fans head will be Croatia’s 3-2 win at Wembley in November 2007, which ensured the Three Lions would not qualify for Euro 2008.
England are $2.30 favourites to secure a spot in Sunday’s final, while Croatia are out at $3.50. The draw is at $3.10.
Three Lions captain Harry Kane was held goalless against Sweden but he’s the shortest price ($2.37) of any player on the pitch, to score his seventh goal of the tournament, which would see him shorten even further from the $1.16 that he’s currently at, to secure the golden boot.
Kane is two goals clear of Belgium’s Romelu Lakaku, who has scored four goals and is at $9.50 to take home the top goal scorer award ahead of French teenager Kylian Mbappe ($29) who has netted three times.
The scenes of jubilation across England following the win over Sweden had to be seen to be believed, but it was a similar story for the Eastern European’s, who with a population of just four million, believe they can continue on their dream run.
Suggested Bet: Both teams to score: $2
Croatia v England Odds – Sportsbet
Croatia $3.50 Draw $3.10 England $2.30
Draw No Bet – Croatia $2.25 England $1.57
To qualify for the next round Croatia $2.25 England $1.65
Over 2.5 goals $2.40 Under 2.5 goals $1.50
Method of Victory
Either team in extra time $6
Either team on penalties $4.50
Croatia in extra time $13
England in extra time $10
Croatia in penalties $9
England in penalties $8.50
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