Jul 9, 2018
Jul 9, 2018

World Cup semi-final preview: Croatia vs. England

Croatia vs. England odds

Inform your World Cup semi-final prediction

Analysing the Croatia vs. England stats

Who will reach the World Cup Final?

World Cup semi-final preview: Croatia vs. England

Croatia and England meet in Moscow this Wednesday, knowing that a place in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final awaits the victors. Looking for value in the Croatia vs. England odds? Read on to inform your Croatia vs. England prediction.

A look at the Croatia vs. England odds

Croatia go into Wednesday’s crucial clash as slight underdogs, with the odds giving England a 42% chance of progressing inside 90 minutes.

Croatia vs. England: What you need to know

Time: 19:00 UTC

Venue: Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow

  • England and Croatia have met seven times before, with the three lions winning four and losing three.
  • Croatia have conceded two of their four goals this World Cup from set-pieces. 
  • Eight of England’s 11 goals this World Cup have come from a set-piece.

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Inform your Croatia vs. England prediction

This will be both Croatia and England’s first appearance this deep into the FIFA World Cup in this millennium.

Croatia last appeared in the semi-finals back in 1998, losing 2-1 to eventual winners France thanks to a Lillian Thuram second-half brace. England have had longer to wait, losing to West Germany via penalties back at Italia 90.

Neither side were expected to go this deep in the tournament, particularly as many believed that both Germany and Spain would be on this side of the draw and should have progressed further. This could be both side’s best chances of reaching a FIFA World Cup Final in generations.

Croatia have shown both their dominance and drawbacks so far this tournament. An impressive group stage showing saw them finish on maximum points, scoring seven and conceding just one.

It was in the knockout stages that Croatia have struggled. Zlatko Dalic’s side needed penalties to get past both Denmark and Russia to reach this stage, meaning that they have played 180 minutes of knockout soccer in just seven days; could fatigue play a role in Wednesday's crucial clash?

The middle of the park is where Croatia win their games. Both Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic have transferred their end-of-season club form to the International stage, with the former averaging 2.8 key passes per game.

Add Marcelo Brozovic and Mateo Kovacic to that midfield, and the centre of the pitch could be where Croatia dominate England on Wednesday.

Croatia have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last three.

For England, a second place finish in Group G was probably more favourable than a group win, as the Three Lions were able to avoid the likes of Brazil and France.

A penalty victory against Columbia may have also rid some demons; before the win against Columbia England had won only one of the eight penalty shootouts they had been involved in since 1990. Their 2-0 quarter-final victory against Sweden was more straightforward and may have helped them recoup some energy ahead of the semi-final clash.

Set pieces have been England’s route to goal on so many occasions this World Cup; eight of their 11 goals have come from a set piece.

Harry Maguire has won the second most aerial duels this World Cup and no player has been aimed for from set-pieces more than the Leicester defender (20). His goal against Sweden was one of many examples where England have shown their dominance from corners.

Impressive deliveries from the likes of Ashley Young and Keiran Trippier have also been crucial in England’s run so far. Only Aaron Mooy (3.3) has completed more crosses than Keiran Trippier (2.8) so far.

Croatia have conceded two of their four goals from set pieces. If Ashley Young and Keiran Trippier can continue to deliver balls into the box then England’s effectiveness in aerial duels (no team has won a higher percentage of aerial duels than the Three Lions) could be the difference in Moscow.

Croatia vs. England betting: Where is the value?

There is little to split the two sides going into Wednesday’s semi-final, so calling the final outcome is difficult.

With this in mind, I would look at the Total Goals market to find potential value in the odds. Croatia have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last three and with England’s impressive ability to capitalise on set-piece opportunities and Croatia's inability to prevent this, goals could be likely.

However, with so much riding on the game it could be cagey, so whilst I don’t see a shutout, a goals fest could also be unlikely. Over 1.75 goals at 1.662* could offer value whilst also covering a nervy affair, particularly with so much on the line.

Last time out England started slow, possibly with the weight of the occasion on them. The likes of Luka Modric have played and won in similar pressurised games and this experience could help them take the initial ascendency. Croatia to be the first team to score currently stands at 2.250*.

To make the most of our best value odds make sure to read more of Pinnacle’s expert betting advice.

Odds subject to change

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