UEFA EURO 2020 MATCH PREVIEW: ENGLAND VS CROATIA, CAN HARRY KANE MEET THE HIGH EXPECTATIONS?
The world finally gets to see the star-studded side of England in action as they host Croatia in their first match in Euro 2020 on Sunday. Expectations are high on both sides and this fixture can act as a teaser on what’s about to happen in Group D.
THE MAGIC CONTINUES!
Croatia come from behind again to defeat England and move on to the 2018 FIFA World Cup final. pic.twitter.com/YrjhS1nP9W
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 11, 2018
England are one of the title favourites and the pundits have predicted at least a top 4 finish for the Englishmen, but the pressure on them from the fans and the media is a lot and they might end up bottling it yet again. England needs a win against Croatia for a good start and also defeating the country that knocked them out of the last World Cup in the semifinals will surely keep the fans happy for at least a while. Croatia have upped their reputation after the last World Cup and hence they are expected to do well this time too, but that might not be the case as things aren’t the same for them anymore.
Ivan Rakitic played really well for them in 2018 but he isn’t part of the team anymore. Even Mario Mandzukic is not available for them to lead their attack and their main man Luka Modric is in form but he is 35 years old, you never know when he might get injured or just stop performing well consistently. A win against a strong side like England will surely brush away all these doubts and add some positive energy to the camp.
Although Harry Maguire has been selected in the squad, he still hasn’t fully recovered from his injury so he won’t be playing the initial games of the tournament. Jordan Henderson did come on as a substitute in their game against Romania but his starting is a bit doubtful as even he has just barely recovered from an injury.
1️⃣ ➡️ 2️⃣6️⃣
Who’s going on the back of your #ThreeLions shirt?
— England (@England) June 7, 2021
England probable starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Jordan Pickford, Luke Shaw, John Stones, Tyrone Mings, Kyle Walker, Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips, Marcus Rashford, Jack Grealish, Mason Mount, Harry Kane.
Dejan Lovren still hasn’t recovered from his injury since April but other than him, the rest of the squad is fit and ready for battle.
Croatia probable lineup (4-3-3): Dominik Livakovic, Borna Barisic, Duje Caleta-Car, Domagoj Vida, Sime Vrsaljko, Mateo Kovacic, Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic, Ivan Perisic, Andrej Kramaric, Ante Rebić.
Harry Kane was possibly the best player in the Premier League if not Europe and hence the fans have high expectations for him. He was both, the top goal scorer and also the assist leader of the league. He is the dangerman for the England side and is going to be a great asset for Southgate throughout the competition. We think Harry Kane is an experienced player and won’t succumb to the pressure easily. The 27-year-old is going to score a lot of goals in Euro 2020.
Proud and honoured to become the most capped player in Croatia’s history ⚽️❤️🇭🇷 pic.twitter.com/bi4AnvVNpF
— Luka Modrić (@lukamodric10) March 28, 2021
Luka Modric’s creative abilities can win Croatia the whole match if he is in top form. He is 35 and is still one of the main players for Real Madrid. He had 5 goals and 3 assists last season, he had a passing accuracy of nearly 90% and also created at least 2 goal-scoring chances per game for his team. Even if he isn’t the same fitness-wise as he was 3 years ago, Luka Modric is still a big threat England will have to deal with before he causes too much damage.
— England (@England) June 6, 2021
England enter this match as strong favourites, the amount of quality in their frontline is just too tough to match. Although, the Three Lions do have a somewhat shaky defence and if Croatia exploits their mistakes, they can come out of the fixture victorious, but we think that’s highly unlikely. FootTheBall predicts England 3-1 Croatia.