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UEFA Nations League | Croatia v England | Preview and Odds

England travel to Croatia in their second Nations League match on Friday, with both sides in need of a win after defeats to Spain in their opening fixtures.

Our football betting expert has cast an eye on the fixture at Stadion HNK Rijeka and has given a helping hand on the game’s best bets.

England eye revenge

The most recent fixture between these two sides will bring back bad memories for English fans, who were left crushed after their country’s bid to reach a first World Cup final since 1966 came crashing down thanks to an extra time loss in Moscow.

Being so close to a World Cup final must still sting for the England squad and their performances, perhaps understandably, have dropped since, with defeats to Belgium and Spain. So, while they managed to overcome Switzerland in a recent friendly, Gareth Southgate will be hoping the confidence and freedom his side played with for much of the World Cup has returned.

Whilst, the main crux of the squad remain, Southgate has made a couple of adjustments with the likes of James Maddison and Jadon Sancho being called up for the first time and it will be fascinating to see if both exciting youngsters are utilised at all.

The Three Lions are 7/4 to win with Grosvenorsport.com.

World Cup hangover for both sides

Like the visitors, Croatia appear to be suffering somewhat of a World Cup hangover. They were in truth, outclassed by the French in the final and the exertions of getting there seem to be taking their toll.

A draw with Portugal was followed by a 6-0 hammering to Spain in their opening Nations League game, which left Zlatko Dalić with a number of tricky questions to answer heading into this one.

His side are the slight favourites at 6/4, with the draw at 2/1.

Too close to call

It’s tough to have a strong view on this match. Both sides aren’t showing any sort of form compared to the summer and both look to be struggling to get over the hefty physical and mental workload that comes with going to the latter stages of a big tournament.

I don’t envisage many goals, so under 2.5 goals at 4/7 looks nailed on, while a few quid on under 1.5 at 15/8 wouldn’t be the worst way to go either.

My main fancy though is a 1-1 draw at 5/1. Both sides will be fearful of getting beaten after their opening defeats to Spain and a tight and potentially scrappy affair can be expected.

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