After reaching the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and the inaugural Uefa Nations League, expectations are high in the England camp heading into this summer’s European Championships. Especially given Gareth Southgate’s men qualified for the tournament with seven wins from eight games, scoring 37 goals and conceding just six. But the Three Lions have a poor record in this tournament, advancing beyond the quarter-final stage on just one occasion and winning only 10 of their 31 games in the finals.
They face a Croatia side that also finished top of their qualification group, taking 17 points from eight games to advance stay clear of the likes of Wales, Slovakia and Hungary. Of course, it was also Croatia who beat England to reach the 2018 World Cup final, though the Three Lions exacted some revenge in the aforementioned Nations League group stage. Zlatko Dalic’s side are in a period of transition, with the likes of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic advancing well into their thirties and a host of unproven, young players coming into the squad as veterans like Mario Mandzukic retired from international duty. Can they prove they still have what it takes to mix it with the best?
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England vs Croatia: Match Stats
This will be the 11th overall meeting between these two nations, and the fourth since July 2018.
During that time, both sides have won once — Croatia in the 2018 World Cup semi-final, England in the Nations League group stage.
Both teams have scored in seven of the previous 10 meetings between England and Croatia.
England scored more goals (37) than any other nation in a five-team qualifying group, while only Belgium (40) scored more overall, though they played two games extra.
The Three Lions are unbeaten in their six previous major tournament group stage matches played on home soil.
There has been a comeback win in two of the last three meetings between England and Croatia.
No player scored more penalties than Harry Kane (3) during the 2018 World Cup.
England vs Croatia: Corner Stats
England have averaged 5.83 corners per game over their last six matches and won nine corners to Croatia’s four in their last meeting. At the 2018 World Cup, Croatia dominated 8-4 in this particular metric.
England vs Croatia: Cards Stats
England have picked up just one yellow card in their last three matches, but did receive a red card as recently as October when Harry Maguire was sent off in a 1-0 defeat to Denmark, while Reece James was also sent off after the final whistle.
Croatia’s last red card was in a 3-2 Uefa Nations League defeat to Portugal in November with Marko Rog picking up two yellows. They avoided a booking against Belgium last time out, though Ante Rebic received a yellow card in a 1-1 friendly draw with Armenia at the start of June.
18 Nov 2018: England 2-1 Croatia – Uefa Nations League
12 Oct 2018: Croatia 0-0 England – Uefa Nations League
11 Jul 2018: Croatia 2-1 England – Fifa World Cup semi-finals
09 Sep 2009: England 5-1 Croatia – Fifa World Cup qualifying
10 Sep 2008: Croatia 1-4 England – Fifa World Cup qualifying
England have lost just one of their last five meetings with Croatia. Of course, that defeat came in heartbreaking fashion as the Three Lions crashed out of the 2018 World Cup semi-finals. They’ve since exacted some revenge with a 2-1 Nations League win in their last meeting.