England open their campaign at Wembley Stadium against the team that prevented Gareth Southgate’s side reaching the World Cup final three years ago. Croatia on Sunday will face a team refreshed since losing 2-1 and denied a shot at adding to its only major title at the 1966 World Cup.
Since the World Cup, when Croatia lost the final to France, Zlatko Dalic’s side has lost and drawn with England in the UEFA Nations League. Unlike England, Croatia have won opening matches at the European Championship — four times, in fact, and drawn another.
England has drawn five and lost four of them, including at its championship debut in 1968 against Yugoslavia, which Croatia used to be part of.
All level at the break! England started the half brilliantly with some proper attacking intent, threatening the Croatia goal twice through Foden and Phillips. But it went downhill from there with even Croatia looking toothless. Time for Grealish or Rashford?
Croatia are having a nice spell with the ball for the last five minutes. Sticking to the right flank and relying on the runs of Vrsaljko, they are taking the long route instead of relying on Modric, Kovacic’s short passing ability. Kramaric and Rebic still isolated.
A good start by England so far! The Three Lions have not allowed a single proper chance to the opposition while circulating the ball with purpose. They are sticking to the left hand side a bit more, using Sterling’s agility and Trippier’s passing prowess.
57′ GOOOOOAAAAALLL!!!!! pic.twitter.com/Ax0nm3wQUK
— Robert Barb (@RobertBarb5) June 13, 2021