It all seems to have happened so fast, however the Three Lions are now just one match away from appearing in their first World Cup Final since 1966 and most supporters are starting to believe that this could be the year that football really does ‘come home’. It’s hard not to get carried away by all the hype surrounding Gareth Southgate’s men and the fact remains that they have performed far above expectations thus far, however tonight’s meeting with Croatia is certain to be a tough assignment and should they edge their way past their opponents this evening, France are clearly going to ask plenty of questions of Southgate’s side on Sunday.
In all honesty, we expect the Three Lions to deal relatively comfortably with a Croatian outfit which have reached this stage of the competition by the skin of their teeth with penalty shoot-out wins over Denmark and Russia. Indeed Gareth Southgate’s men needed penalties to edge past Colombia in the last-sixteen round although in reality the match should have been decided in ninety minutes. One would like to believe that the mental stress of two periods of extra-time and penalties will have taken its toll on the Croatians and the big question will be whether or not they have much left in the tank after reaching their first semi-final since 1998.
England have enjoyed four wins over Croatia in their six meetings to date and we have seen plenty of goals in this encounters, something which suggests that we will see the goal-nets bulge a few times this evening. Indeed this looks set to be a high scoring affair although the exertions of the last two outings will undoubtedly have take its toll on Croatia and as such, we’ll be siding with the Three Lions to be in the lead at half-time and at the final whistle, a place in the World Cup final their prize for what has undoubtedly been an excellent campaign thus far.
We’ll be siding with Gareth Southgate’s men on the HT/FT market with Ladbrokes going 29/10 on England to be leading at half-time and full-time.