England took on Croatia in the second FIFA World Cuo 2018 semi-final and Gareth Southgate men had a dream start with Kevin Tripier scoring inside first 5 minutes. England had several chances to double the lead in first half but they fail to take advantage. Croatia just as they have done in the last two knockout games, took control in second half and Perisic goal ensured they take the game to extra time and there Mandzukic scored late in second extra time to win the tie for Croatia as a national with only 4 million population reach world cup final for the very first time.
England will be play Croatia in the second semifinal set to take place at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Wednesday night, 11 July 2018. England made it to the semifinal by beating Sweden in the quarterfinals and this will be their very first major tournament semifinal since 1990. Croatia on the other hand laboured to penalties win over hosts Russia and will play their second semifinal since 1998.
England vs Croatia Preview: Croatia were one of the best teams in the group stages where the highlight of their campaign came against Argentina beating them 3-0 but in both knockout games so far they have looked overwhelmed and failed to perform what was expected of them, but somehow they managed to see off both Switzerland and Russia on penalties.
England on the other hand defeated Colombia in round of 16 game on penalties and they made easy work of Sweden in the quarterfinals. England vs Croatia game is evenly matched and it will be interesting to see how this English side cope with Croatia who just won’t give up no matter what.
The match will be played at the Luzhniki Stadium and it will be a night kickoff on Wednesday, 11 July 2018. We can expect huge number of English fans descending into Moscow and the atmosphere back home has been superb with England pretty much over achieving so far in the tournament.
Team News & Possible Starting Lineups: England performances in their recent two games have been underwhelming to say the least and Gareth Southgame must find a solution to have more control in central midfield. Dele Alli scored the second goal against Sweden but he has been poor but we can expect him to start. Roben Loftus-Cheek or Eric Dier might be given a chance in midfield considering Croatia’s midfield is their heart beat and Southgate must find a way to stop Croatia dominating from midfield.
This is how I expect both teams to lineup on Wednesday night.
Croatia are likely to continue with their trusted 4-3-3 system where Badelj, Rakitic and Modric to pull the strings from midfield while Perisic, Rebic and Mandzukic playing in attacking roles.
Match Predictions: Croatia will be slightly favourite going into the match but this England side are no push overs. They made easy work of Sweden in the quarterfinals and pose a real threat going forward with unpredictable trio of Alli, Sterling and Lingard switching and swapping place all game. Hwoever, Croatia boost probably the best midfield in the world cup and thats where England have to be careful. Croatia did not play to their potential in first two knockout games and I think against England they will dominate the midfield and I see them beating England one way or the other and reaching their first ever World Cup final.