England’s road to Euro 2020 success begins on Sunday, so here are the Euro 2020 predictions.
England will face Croatia at Wembley Stadium, three years after the Chequered Ones’ World Cup aspirations were destroyed.
Some have already predicted that Gareth Southgate’s team will make Euro 2020 history and win the tournament.
But Croatia (football updates) visiting them will be a stiff test in front of 22,500 ecstatic fans.
- Despite returning to training on Friday, Harry Maguire is unlikely to play in England’s first match against Croatia. Gareth Southgate must have known this before of England’s warm-up games. He chose not to try a back three, implying that he will not move to it on Sunday.
- All this is despite his having apparently practiced a 3-4-3 formation with Luke Shaw as a centre-back. In a four-man defense, Tyrone Mings or Ben White should partner John Stones at the back.
- Due to the Champions League final, no Manchester City or Chelsea player played even a minute in either warm-up game. This is shocking because they account for seven members of the English team. Here, too, Southgate’s choice over them is unsure.
- Jack Grealish has a solid chance of starting their opener. This is because he participated in both friendlies. There, he was undoubtedly England’s best player at the time, albeit the bar was not high.
- Phil Foden will undoubtedly play a key role for England this summer. However, because he did not feature in either of the two warm-up games, he may not start immediately here.
- Marcus Rashford might potentially be a late addition to both teams, though.
- Jordan Henderson made his recovery from injury last weekend in England’s 1-0 triumph over Romania. But just playing 45 minutes in nearly four months may not be enough for him to earn a starting spot.
- On current form, though he has been a regular under Southgate, Raheem Sterling should not start at all. Still, it would not be surprising to see him play on Sunday.
England possible starting lineup: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Shaw; Trippier, Rice, Phillips, Chilwell; Mount, Grealish; Kane
- Croatia have made their best hand known in their friendlies by fielding nearly full strength teams each time.
- Going into Sunday’s match against England, there are really only three slots up for grabs.
- Bruno Petkovic and Andrej Kramaric are vying for a starting spot up front.
- Josip Brekalo and Ante Rebic are vying for a winger spot.
- Finally, Mateo Kovacic and Nikola Vlasic are vying for a midfield berth.
Croatia possible starting lineup: Livakovic; Vrsaljko, Vida, Caleta-Car, Barisic; Brozovic, Kovacic; Rebic, Modric, Perisic; Petkovic
Euro 2020 Predictions – England vs Croatia
- This is a rematch of the 2018 World Cup semi-final, which Croatia won 2-1 in extra time. That put an end to England’s hopes. And since then, they’ve played two matches, with England winning one and the other finishing in a draw.
- In the build-up to Euro 2020, though, neither team has struck bull’s eye.
- Croatia drew 1-1 with Armenia before falling 1-0 to Belgium. Meanwhile, England won both of their friendlies against Austria and Romania by 1-0 margins without really impressing.
- There is a lot of expectation on England to perform well in their group. However, this is undoubtedly their toughest match on paper, and it wouldn’t surprise us if they didn’t win it.
Southgate still has decisions to make in many areas of the field. Regardless, the Three Lions’ youthful attacking prowess can strike fear into the hearts of any European defense.
So, it will be up to Grealish and Mount to justify their selections over Foden and Raheem Sterling.
On the other hand, Croatia’s recent form has been mixed, to say the least, but they aren’t hopeless just yet.
Of course, both teams can expect to finish in the top two spots in Group D at the end of the tournament.
But for this match, the rowdy home crowd will be providing the difference that has been missing all season.
So eventually, we are supporting England’s firepower to push them to their first-ever opening day triumph.