Our prediction for this Euro 2020 match:
All eyes will be on Wembley Stadium when England and Croatia take on each other in the Group D opener at EURO 2020. The Three Lions are eyeing their seventh consecutive win in all competitions, but boss Gareth Southgate must warn his men against complacency. Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold has been ruled out with injury, with Man Utd centre-back Harry Maguire likely to miss the game as well.
Tottenham striker Harry Kane is widely expected to lead the line for the Three Lions, who are on a six-game winning run at home ground. The Croats, on the other hand, did well to beat England in the 2018 World Cup semis, and, no doubt, they are eager to repeat the success. Zlatko Dalic is doing a good job with the “Vatreni”, but seeing that key player Luka Modric doesn’t seem to be at his sharpest at the moment, home win should be considered.
Highlighted Player (Harry Kane):
Widely regarded as one of England’s best strikers at the moment, Harry Kane enjoyed a meteoric rise at Tottenham Hotspur, scoring 21 Premier League goals during the 2014/2015 campaign to be voted PFA Young Player of the Year.
The highly rated striker went on to surpass that achievement the following season as he helped Tottenham Hotspur mount a serious title challenge for the first time in club’s recent history and he made seamless transition to international football. Kane scored four goals in his first ten appearances for England to prove he was here to stay and at the same time established himself as a first choice striker in Roy Hodgson’s squad ahead of the Euro 2016 finals.
Kane is a modern striker, who is extremely dangerous in the opposition box, but it was some outstanding goals from distance as well as link-up play with teammates that earned him an excellent reputation in world football. Kane is expected to lead both Tottenham and England in years to come, that is if he can resist the lure of top European clubs that continue to cast admiring glances his way.
Highlighted Team (Croatia):
While the national football team of Croatia also played international matches between 1940 and 1944, they only resumed their duties in 1990 after the country gained independence from Yugoslavia. Vatreni enjoyed a remarkable start on the international stage, winning the third place on their first ever World Cup appearance in France in 1998, while crashing out in the group stage at the 2002, 2006 and 2014 tournaments.
Croatia also reached the quarter-finals at the 1996 and 2008 European Championships, proving they are rightly considered one of Europe’s top sides at the start of the 21st century. Long-serving captain Darijo Srna is their most capped player with over 130 appearances for the national team, whereas former Real Madrid striker Davor Suker is one of their most famous players and top scorer with 45 goals.
Other notable footballers to have played for Croatia include Luka Modric, Zvonimir Boban, Robert Prosinecki, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic. Miroslav Blazevic and Slaven Bilic are the coaches that have been behind team’s biggest success stories up to date.