World Cup 2018: Second Semi-Final Preview between England vs. Croatia

England and Croatia are going to face the second semi-final of this World Cup at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow tonight. This is the first meeting of these two teams at the World Cup stage. And it was beyond anyone’s imagination that these two will be in their first meeting at World Cup in the semi-final. It does not matter whether you can imagine or not, football will accept it quite normally. The reality is that the opponents of France for the Final will be elected from these two teams.

Source: Metro

England is playing their third World Cup semi-final after 28 years. And Croatia is playing their second semi-final after their first ever World Cup in 1998.

England has played their first semi-final in 1966 at their home ground. They didn’t just win the semi-finals in that World Cup, but they have also won their only World Cup title in that particular year. However, so many generations of English football have been ended with listening to this 52-years old history, but they have not even seen the team to play their second World Cup final. England got back in the semi in 1990 as well, but their dream was broken down after losing against West Germany in the tiebreaker.

On the other hand, in 1998, Croatia reached to the semi-finals in their first appearance at the World Cup stage. But in the semi, they lost by 2-1 to the host France and their dream journey have come to an end.

Since the beginning of this World Cup, these two teams were not even in the list of favorites for the spectators. But they don’t care a bit for a nominal badge of favorites. Right from the beginning, this two have done their job quite excellently. Modric-Rakitic’s team Croatia have come to the semis with a record of 5 back-to-back wins in the World Cup finals. This is a new record of winning for them. And England reached the semifinal with banging 11 goals in their opponent’s net in their 5 matches. And so far, with his 6 goals, Harry Kane is the main contender of the Golden Boot of this tournament.

However, the Croatian coach Zlatko Dalic is very optimistic about stopping Harry Kane.

He said to the press “We’ve stopped Messi here, we’ll try to stop Harry Kane as well,”  Later, he added, “There was no fear of any team till now, and there is nothing to fear about England.”

Source: read in international

 

On the other hand, English coach Gareth Southgate said, “We have already made some English history in this tournament and we want to do more of this.”

In addition to asking about the World Cup in 1966, England midfielder Jordan Henderson said, “1966 is a history; we didn’t play with keeping that in mind. We have come this far by playing match-by-match and we want to keep it up. It’ll be good if it happens like 1966.”

However, considering the last meeting of these two teams, the Englishmen are ahead in front. In 2009, England banged the Croatians by a 5-1 scoreline at Wembley in a World Cup qualifier match. But many things have changed over time. These two have played 7 games altogether, while England has won 4 times and 2 wins for the Croats. Therefore, it is too difficult to keep the British ahead in today’s game.

Source: Carpe Diem

But the recent statistics of these two teams and the two consecutive matches of  240-minutes for Croatia affected the betting odds. The betting rate for England’s victory in 90 minutes is 11/8 (2.8). And some sites have boosted this rate to 6/1 (7.0). However, there is not much enthusiasm for betting on the win of Croatia, among the bookies. Croatia’s winning rate is 23/10 (3.30).

Probable XI:

England

Formation: 3-3-2-2

Starting XI: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Henderson, Young; Lingard, Alli; Kane, Sterling

Croatia

Formation: 4-3-3

Starting XI: Subasic; Vida, Corluka, Lovren, Strinic; Modric, Rakitic, Kramaric; Perisic, Rebic, Mandzukic

Will England play their second final, or are the Croatians will go for their first ever World Cup final? Now, this is the biggest question for the football world. And only tonight’s Lizhniki Stadium have an answer to this question.

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