England v Croatia betting tips: England hope youth gives them the edge
Preview and odds for Sunday’s match
England will hope to show they have improved since the 2018 World Cup when they face Croatia in their opening match of the European Championship at Wembley.
Croatia famously prevented the Three Lions from reaching the World Cup final and the two teams have become familiar foes in recent years.
Sunday’s match is live on BBC One and kicks off at 2pm as we highlight a few potential England v Croatia betting tips.
England v Croatia match odds
There is hope that hosting matches at a major international tournament for the first time since Euro 96 will help England go even further than they did then when Gareth Southgate’s penalty miss played a part in their semi-final exit.
A fairy-tale script would now see Southgate lead the team to glory on home soil but first they must navigate their way out of Group D and England are 8/11 to make a winning start.
They were not overly convincing in their warm-up games but Austria and Romania were both beaten 1-0 and 21/5 is on offer for the same scoreline on Sunday.
The biggest worry around this Three Lions team is the defence but England have kept five clean sheets during a six-match winning run and are 29/20 to win to nil.
England v Croatia head-to-head
The two teams have met twice since Croatia’s extra-time victory in Russia.
They were drawn together in the same group for the inaugural Nations League and a 0-0 draw in Croatia in October 2018 was followed by a 2-1 win for England at Wembley 13 months later.
Croatia took the lead through Andrej Kramaric just before the hour mark but goals from Jesse Lingard and Harry Kane in the final 15 minutes secured victory for the home side.
Croatia: Livakovic, Vrsaljko, Barisic, Caleta-Car, Vida, Perisic, Kovacic, Modric, Brozovic, Rebic, Petkovic.
Defender Harry Maguire trained with England on Saturday as he recovers from ankle ligament damage but his availability for the opening game looks doubtful.
Jordan Henderson also trained with the group as he builds fitness, but goalkeeper Dean Henderson – set to be back-up to Jordan Pickford this summer – was not involved due to a knock.
It is largely a clash between youth and experience with England hoping several of their young stars can shine on the big stage while Croatia continue to rely largely on tried and tested players.
Luka Modric will try to run the show in midfield for Croatia but the 12-month delay to the tournament will not have helped the former Tottenham man, who turns 36 in September and is 33/1 to again be named player of the tournament.
Croatia look short of the firepower which England possess, with Harry Kane the 11/2 favourite in the Euro 2020 top scorer odds.
England will hope to overrun Croatia, with the likes of Phil Foden, Mason Mount and Jack Grealish providing plenty of energy and creativity behind Kane, who is 13/5 to open the scoring and 7/4 to be on target in an England win.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication