England prepared for the visit of Croatia with a 3-0 win against USA which will be remembered for Wayne Rooney’s final appearance in a Three Lions shirt.
On the field, goals from Jesse Lingaard, Trent Alexander-Arnold and a debut goal from Callum Wilson saw Gareth Southgate’s side sweep the United States aside in a convincing performance.
England now face Croatia in their final Nations League group A4 match against Croatia – with the winner set to top the group and the loser relegated.
Our Grosvenorsport.com football expert gives his thoughts head of the game.
Boom or bust for England
England’s last Nations League match against Croatia behind closed doors resulted in a dull 0-0 draw, but the Three Lions’ World Cup semi-final exit to Sunday’s opponents will still be raw in the memory.
A Mario Mandzukic extra time winner meant Zlatko Dalić’s side progressed to the final in the summer, while England packed their bags.
Revenge will be on the minds of many England players, and the friendly atmosphere displayed on Thursday against the States will subside as England look to go for all three points in the hope of leapfrogging Spain into top spot.
England will take confidence from their recent performances – particularly last month’s Nations League outing against Spain when a Marcus Rashford strike and a Raheem Sterling double saw the Three Lions defeat the Spaniards 3-2.
The Three Lions can be backed at 10/11 with Grosvenorsport.com to defeat Croatia on Sunday afternoon.
Croatian momentum building
Croatia head into the final group game in good spirits after a dramatic 3-2 win over Spain in Zagreb set up a winner-takes-all against England on Sunday.
Tin Jedvaj’s first ever international goals for Croatia, either side of a Sergio Ramos penalty, was enough to break Spanish hearts. Only a draw between England and Croatia will ensure the Spaniards top the group now.
Zlatko Dalić’s side have recovered well in the group – an opening 6-0 loss to Spain and a 0-0 draw against England left them with a mountain to climb, but they will be delighted heading into this one with a chance of qualification.
The World Cup runners-up have experienced players in the shape of Luka Modric, Dejan Lovren, Ivan Perisic and Mateo Kovacic, and they could cause England the same problems they caused Spain.
The Croats are underdogs for this fixture, and are 3/1 to get a win at Wembley.
England to edge it
Croatia have had the upper hand on England recently, and you’d back them to get a draw if they needed to, but a point suits neither side and hands qualification to Spain.
Hopefully this means that both sides will have a go and play entertaining, expansive football. This wasn’t on show in the match behind closed doors as the sides played out a cagey stalemate.
I think there will be goals, and over 2.5 goals is decent value at 4/5 but I do fancy England to edge it in this one – I’ll go for a 2-1 win at 7/1.
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