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Croatia vs. England Preview – Betting Odds, Analysis, and Picks

| July 9, 2018 12:00 am PDT
Croatia vs England World Cup Semi Finals

Not many expected that Croatia and England would reach the last 4 and have a real chance to win the soccer World Cup. And yet, the two teams will face each other for a place in the final.

Both nations believe they have a shot and are fully behind their boys.

The performance so far hasn’t been perfect for either team, but both were solid and showed character.

Combine that with a lot of talent and an exceptional spirit, and you will understand why Croatia and England are still in the World Cup when the likes of Germany, Spain, and Brazil are no longer in Russia.

I expect a tense and exciting match. I like both teams and would love to see them in the final, but one will have to play for the 3rd place instead. The question is, which one? I will try to find the answer, as well as some good betting opportunities.

Croatia vs. England Betting Odds

Let’s start by taking a look at the main betting markets for this soccer World Cup semifinal.

Croatia to Win3.50
England to Win2.37
Under 2.5 Goals1.50
Over 2.5 Goals2.50
Croatia to Qualify2.30
England to Qualify1.61

The bookies obviously see England as the slight favorite to progress to the final, and I can see why. Croatia was the better team in the group stages but has declined a bit since.

At the same time, England was troubled against Colombia but looked strong against Sweden. The side’s confidence is growing, and I think that Southgate and his boys have their eyes on the trophy now.

They will fancy their chances against Croatia, but I don’t expect the manager to let them underestimate the opponent in any way.

As for the goals market, the prices make sense completely. All of the knockout games of England and Croatia so far have been rather cagey affairs and finished under 2.5 goals.

It would be only natural to expect the same in the last 4, especially since the stakes are so high. It’s quite possible that both teams will start cautiously and won’t rush it.

Croatia – Do They Have Enough in the Tank?

I was a fan of Croatia even before the World Cup started. In fact, the side was part of my post on the teams that could surprise at the soccer World Cup. I’m glad to see the Balkan side in the semis, but I am a bit worried.

First of all, Croatia started as one of the strongest teams in the group stage but seems to have declined in the knockouts. Twice in a row, the side has failed to beat a weaker opponent in Denmark and Russia.

They let the games reach the penalty shootouts, and I can’t say the Croatians were impressive in either of those encounters. Fortunately for them, the hosts and the Scandinavian side were even worse and missed a bunch of penalties.

The important thing is that Croatia is through, but playing extra time twice already could be an issue.

All of the key players of the Croatian team have a lot of minutes under their belt. If you add the tough club season behind them, the fatigue might start taking its toll on the side.

This could be a problem, as Croatia has some players who simply can’t be replaced. The likes of Modric and Rakitic are the best examples. It’s curious to see if those two will be able to play at their best after the gruesome World Cup so far.

The good news is that Croatia was able to rest many of the main men in the final game of the group stage. This is why I don’t think they will be that tired when it comes to the regular time.

The extra time is another story, though, and I feel the side will be the underdog if the game is not decided within 90 minutes.

Another positive for the team is the character shown so far. Croatia was twice behind in the knockout stages and managed to come back and equalize on both occasions. Furthermore, the Balkan country managed to end up winning the tie at the end.

Sure, the manner of those victories wasn’t the most convincing one, but the soccer World Cup is often more about grinding results than being the prettiest team out there. Croatia has certainly shown that they can get the job done, which makes them dangerous.

On top of that, they do have quality players that could swing the game with their individual qualities. However, I feel that the main priority for Croatia would be to avoid conceding first as in the past two games.

England is much stronger than both Russia and Denmark, so if it happens for the third time, I can easily see Croatia going out.

England – Destined for Glory?

This English squad keeps getting better and better. After barely beating Colombia on penalties, it was much easier this time around. The team dominated the first half against Sweden in the quarterfinals and should’ve scored more than once.

There were various chances, but the Scandinavian side somehow survived the half-time whistle being only one goal behind. England could’ve paid the price for their wastefulness, but Jordan Pickford made a couple of outstanding saves in the second half.

Actually, he was named man of the match.

As I said in my prediction for this match, this Swedish team simply is not clinical enough, and this was the case again. There were chances, but the brilliant English goalkeeper and the lack of composure were the reasons why Sweden didn’t manage to score.

Despite the solid performance, this should concern Gareth Southgate. The attack of the team works great, and there are chances in every game. Even when skipper Harry Kane doesn’t score, someone manages to find the net. However, England seems vulnerable at the other end.

We’ve seen that in pretty much every game so far, and Croatia is a team that can take advantage of any opportunity.

The Balkans have failed to create many of them in the knockouts but have been clinical when they had a chance to score. In fact, this is the reason they are still in the soccer World Cup.

If England is going to beat Croatia, they will definitely need to do a better job at the back.

Still, I think England is the favorite in this clash and has an incredible chance of reaching the World Cup final for only the second time in history – a feat many great English teams didn’t manage to achieve.

Croatia – England Prediction

In my opinion, England will have more of the ball and will try to attack more at the start of the game. Croatia conceded early in both of the knockout matches so far and will be eager to avoid an early goal this time around.

We could easily see a goalless draw in the first half, and it’s crucial who will find the net first. If England does that, I believe they will end up winning in the regular time. Still, I think it will be a nervy affair, and we won’t see the best soccer of the World Cup.

My prediction is that England will win 1-0 at the end.

Recommended Bets for Croatia vs. England

The matches from the last 4 of the soccer World Cup are always tough to predict. Both teams are usually up for it and are ready to do everything to reach the final. I don’t think this clash will be an exception. It should be close, but I think England has the advantage.

The team is improving with every game, and they do have an exceptional attack. On top of that, Croatia has reached the extra time and penalties twice already. Surely, they will be mentally and physically tired if the game is not decided in the regular time.

This is why the odds for England to qualify seem decent. 1.61 is a solid choice and the best pick I can find for this match.

PICKEngland to Qualify1.61

BetVictor Million Pound Bet

Here is my suggestion for the BetVictor Million Pound Bet for the game between England and Croatia:

  • England to win 1-0
  • Both Teams Over 3.5 corners in both halves
  • Both Teams Over 2.5 cards
  • Harry Kane to score 1+ goals

I expect England to win a tough game, and Harry Kane is the most likely scorer. I also expect a lot of corners and a number of cards. The overall price is over 27,000, which is insane but worth a shot.


I think England will finally play another soccer World Cup final, and I didn’t expect that before the tournament. Do you think this team has what it takes? Or is it destined to fail in the semifinals?

Feel free to share your opinion in the comment section below!

Good luck!

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Jerry Summer

Jerry Summer has a wide-ranging interest in gambling and the gambling industry. He's made a living out of both playing poker and betting on sports.

The English Premier League and the NBA are among Jerry's primary areas of expertise. He's knowledgeable about many other sports, too, along with poker and several casino games.

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