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England vs Croatia: Three Lions to roar into Finals

England vs Croatia Match Preview and Predictions

England's Nations League group reaches a fascinating conclusion on Sunday when all three teams can finish top of Group 4 in League A.

[All odds correct at time of publication]

A win for Gareth Southgate's men means they will book a place at the Finals but a loss or a score draw with Croatia will see them relegated.

Victory for Croatia will ensure they finish top but a defeat or a goalless draw will result in demotion to League B. Spain will head to the Finals in June next year if the match finishes all square.

Match information

When is it? Sunday 18th November

What time is kick-off? 14:00

Where is it being played? Wembley Stadium

Which channel is it on? Sky Sports Football

England vs Croatia Betting Tips

Here are our best tips for Sunday's match for which we also have a range of other markets available:

The lowdown

Croatia kept themselves in the hunt for a place in the Finals on Thursday when Tin Jedvaj scored his second goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time to secure a thrilling 3-2 victory over Spain.

Luis Enrique's side enjoyed 61% possession but the Croats outshot their opponents 16-13 and also hit the post in the first half.

The match, played in front of a fervent crowd in Zagreb, was in stark contrast to the empty stadium in Rijeka where England and Croatia played out a low-key goalless draw in which Harry Kane and Eric Dier both headed against the woodwork and Marcus Rashford spurned two great chances.

Nations League previews

If you're interested in more Nations League betting tips, check out our in-depth previews below:

A place in the World Cup final was at stake in their previous meeting in July when Kieran Trippier's brilliant free-kick gave England an early lead, only for Ivan Perisic to equalise in the second half before Mario Mandzukic struck the winner in extra time.

Sunday's game promises to be a classic but Croatia's win against the 2010 world champions will undoubtedly have taken a lot out of them so the first our free football tips is for England to win and over 2.5 goals at 9/5.

Both sides had chances in the 0-0 draw but we're expecting goals this time around just as there have been in the four previous meetings since 2007, all of which hit the over 2.5 mark at an average of 4.75 per game.

First goalscorer tips

Rashford may have wasted a couple of gilt-edged opportunities in the reverse fixture but he has scored in three of the four matches in which he has started for England.

Furthermore, the Manchester United striker broke the deadlock against both Spain and Switzerland a couple of months ago and so gets our vote as first goalscorer at 11/2.

Anytime goalscorer tips

Full-back Tin Jedvaj struck his first goals for Croatia against Spain and is a juicy odds of 18/1 in the anytime scorer market.

The Bayer Leverkusen defender is in great goalscoring form having struck in the 5-0 win against Borussia Monchengladbach in the German Cup at the end of October and netted the only goal in the Europa League victory against Zurich just over a week ago.

Where the game will be won or lost

England coach Southgate handed debuts to three players and gave teenager Jadon Sancho his first start in Thursday's 3-0 victory over the USA but the big guns are expected to be back for the winner-takes-all clash at Wembley.

Widespread changes are expected to be made which means Lewis Dunk, Alex McCarthy and Callum Wilson are likely to be on the bench.

Although Southgate was reasonably happy with the performances of his new players and the team in general for Wayne Rooney's final game as an England player, he had some words of warning.

He said: "I didn't like us without the ball as much. I thought at times we pressed really well, but at times the USA got through us too easily and towards the end of the game we didn't play with discipline. We were caught in transition and wide open. If we do that on Sunday, we will lose.

"We've got two days to prepare, so it was one of the reasons we played the team we did. We'll look at their game, just to see how they approached it against Spain, but we know pretty much all there is to know about Croatia - most importantly that their desire, their mentality is brilliant."

With both teams chasing the win, we expect two goals or more in the first half at 33/20 just as there have been in two of England's three Nations League matches.

We round up our England vs Croatia preview by predicting a 3-2 win for the Three Lions at 22/1. An attacking game is on the cards and that was the scoreline in both teams' previous Nations League fixtures.

Traders' Tips - View from the trading floor

England had the better of the chances in Riejka and but for the woodwork would have headed home with three points. Croatia were involved in an exhausintg match against Spain three days before the trip to London, so we expect the Three Lions to win and book their place in the Finals.

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Andrew McDermott
@a_mcdermott in Football