Croatia takes on the visitors England at “Luzhniki Arena” in the second semi-final fight of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. The game will be played in Moscow on Wednesday, July 11th.
Although Croatia conducted quite solid matches against Denmark and Russia, however, the physical conditions of the players leave much to be desired. The side looked exhausted in extra time of the clash against Denmark. The same problems were in the next battle against Russia. In addition, two penalty shoot-out series have also taken too many strength. Everybody understands that, thus, Zlatko Dalic assured that the footballers will have enough time to fully recover for the upcoming tackle, nevertheless, I believe the tiredness will matter in the next game. As long as all English players perform in the Premier League, defenders have adjusted themselves to the tactics similar to the ones of the Croatians.
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On the eve of the Mundial, England was neither considered to be an underdog nor regarded as the favourite, however, Gareth Southgate managed to lead his team to the semi-finals. Having conceded a goal from Colombia on the 93rd minute of the match, “The Three Lions” were forced to participate in penalty shoot-out which it won. The next encounter against Sweden showed a very important aspect on their play: unlike many participating teams of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, the English do not shut out. The team’s philosophy is: you won’t concede if you keep the ball. They prefer to drag time not while getting ready for the standards but while passing the ball.
England has predictably reached the semi-final while the situation with Croatia is not so obvious. The Croatians do not rush ahead but play pragmatically instead plus the tiredness will definitely affect their game as they have already achieved more than expected. The English will also get their chance as there is a good team play considering all the players know each other perfectly well.
Prediction for the match: England to win with +0.5 Asian handicap and under 3.5 scored goals.