England v Croatia Betting Tip Draw – World Cup 2018

Likely to be a nervy night in Moscow

Wednesday 11th July 1900hrs England v Croatia Football – International – World Cup If Belgium and France were somewhat expected semi finalists, albeit with some doubt cast over their initial ambitions, the other semi is made up of two nations who have completely surpassed expectations. England have done nothing for over a decade in major tournaments whilst Croatia had not made it past the group stage since reaching the semi final in 1998. It’s been a testing passage for both – particularly the Croats – and in this intensive situation the smallest of margins can make such a difference. Preview of the game and selection of the best betting tips as England meet Croatia for a place in Sunday’s World Cup final.

It’s fair to say that World Cup fever has well and truly gripped England as the country dreams of repeating their sole success in this competition, all the way back in 1966. The closest they have came since then was at Italia 90 when exiting at the semi final stage after losing to West Germany on penalties. They have now made it to the final four once again and will be determined to go at least one step better. The last week of the tournament would barely have been a consideration at the outset for a squad containing so many inexperienced players at international level, many of whom have been the stars of the World Cup. Harry Kane has led the way with his six goals but the likes of Jordan Pickford and Harry Maguire were at the forefront of England’s latest win – the 2-0 win over Sweden. Maguire got the crucial opening goal whilst Everton’s Pickford was outstanding in goal once again. Considering his role in the penalty shootout win against Colombia previous to that, he’s on course for being named the best ‘keeper at this tournament. He’ll need to have another massive game on Wednesday.

Croatia have had to endure to agonising penalty shootout victories in order to get to this stage, scraping past Denmark and hosts Russia in the second round and quarter final respectively. The latter of this victories, particularly, was dramatic. Facing up against a Russian team who have galvanised their whole country as hosts, the Croats went behind early in the match and then looked like winning it in extra time only to be pegged back. There were nervous moments in the shootout but one man who stayed cool was Ivan Rakitic. The Barcelona midfielder slotted the winning penalty against both Denmark and Russia and his performances alongside Luca Modric have been the basis for Croatia reaching this stage. Now 20 years on from their finest moment which seen them miss out on the World Cup final by a whisker, there is a feeling that this is now their time. Like that group of players back then, this is a squad that is getting on in years – or at least the key players are. It limits the opportunities going forward and considering how long it took for them to get back to the semi finals you sense they will not have a better chance of becoming World Champions.

England v Croatia Betting Tips

If you offered either of these teams a semi final against each other at the start of the tournament they would have rubbed their eyes before promptly biting your hand off. It’s possibly a game you would expect to see more in the final stages of a European Championships (and that is being very kind) but the fact it is for a place in the final of the World Cup is extremely surprising and will give both nations hope they can do something very special this summer. England have been more convincing in the knockout stages but Croatia have proven they are not only resilient, but able to handle the pressure. England ended their penalty hoodoo as well by getting the better of Colombia so if it does go all the way then there’s little to question the mettle of both these.

How much has the two periods of extra time in the space of six days taken out Croatia ahead of this one? How good are England on the back of their wins against fairly mediocre opposition? These are the questions which will be answered on Wednesday evening in what will be the biggest game in decades for both. In terms of an outcome, it has all the makings of being a tight one with neither side likely to be adventurous in the opening stages. England have more match winners but Croatia possibly have more guile so there’s a chance they could well cancel each other out. For a selection I think the best way to go is bank on Croatia continuing their theme of their games going all the way and this one finishing in a draw after 90 minutes.

Betting Tip Draw 21/10 @ Betfair