England and Croatia will meet in a rematch of this summer’s World Cup semi-final in the UEFA Nations League on Friday, with the Three Lions out for revenge after losing the former fixture 2-1 in extra time.
Friday’s fixture will be a special one as it will be played behind closed doors at the Stadion Rujevica in Rijeka, as part of Croatia’s punishment after a swastika was marked on their pitch before a Euro 2016 home qualifier against Italy.
The fact that the game will be played to a virtually empty stadium will not detract from the high-profile nature of the match, with both sides looking to bounce back following disappointing opening campaign defeats to Spain – England losing at Wembley 2-1 and Croatia hammered 6-0.
|Game||Croatia vs England|
|Date||Friday, October 12|
|Time||7:45pm BST / 2:45pm EST|
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|Univision Deportes||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on Sky Sports and livestreamed through Sky GO Extra.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|Sky Sports||Sky GO Extra|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Livakovic, Sluga, Letica|
|Defenders||Vida, Lovren, Pivaric, Jedvaj, Mitrovic, Milic, Bartolec|
|Midfielders||Modric, Rakitic, Kovacic, Badelj, Rog, Pasalic, Bradaric|
|Forwards||Perisic, Kramaric, Rebic, Pjaca, Santini, Livaja|
Croatia will be without the likes of Mario Mandzukic, who announced his retirement from international duty in August, while Dejan Lovren and Ante Rebic have returned to the side after coach Zlatko Dalic named his team in advance.
Sime Vrsaljko, Marcelo Brozovic, Borna Barisic, Lovre Kalinic and Duje Cop are all missing due to injury.
Confirmed Croatia XI: Livakovic, Jedvaj, Lovren, Vida, Pivaric, Rakitic, Kovacic, Kramaric, Modric, Perisic, Rebic.
|Goalkeepers||Pickford, Butland, Bettinelli|
|Defenders||Walker, Stones, Trippier, Maguire, Gomez, Alexander-Arnold, Chilwell, Dunk|
|Midfielders||Henderson, Dier, Barkley, Winks, Chalobah, Maddison, Mount|
|Forwards||Sterling, Kane, Rashford, Sancho|
Luke Shaw has been withdrawn from the England squad due to injury and has since been replaced by Leicester defender Ben Chilwell, while Lewis Dunk could earn his first England cap in place of James Tarkowski (also injured).
Danny Rose and Alex McCarthy will miss both Nations League matches after returning to their clubs due to minor injuries, while Danny Welbeck is also out.
Potential England XI: Pickford; Maguire, Stones, Gomez; Trippier, Henderson; Barkley, Winks, Chilwell; Sterling, Kane.
Croatia are priced at 33/20 to win according to bet 365 , while a draw is available at 9/4. A win for England is priced at 19/10.
A Luka Modric-led Croatia brought England’s dreams of winning the World Cup to an abrupt halt after an extra-time goal earned them a spot in the final against France, ending the possibility of football coming home.
Both Croatia and England punched above their weight this summer in the World Cup, with the likes of Ivan Perisic, Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mandzukic propelling the former to a spot in the World Cup final.
The Three Lions, who have a patchy history at tournaments, managed to edge out the likes of Sweden and Colombia but fell to Croatia in the semi-finals.
England manager Gareth Southgate was praised for his faith in his young team and has been awarded a new contract extension, but were defeated by Spain in the opening fixture of the UEFA Nations League at Wembley.
Borussia Dortmund youngster Jadon Sancho has been called up to the England squad and is set to earn his first cap against Croatia following a meteoric rise with the Bundesliga side.
Southgate will be expected to field a strong line-up against Croatia, with captain Harry Kane set to lead the line, joined by the likes of Raheem Sterling and possibly Tottenham team-mate Harry Winks.
Croatia, meanwhile, will need to recover from the devastation of their 6-0 loss – also to La Roja – in their opening fixture when they take on England, and will be looking to register two wins in a row when they host the Three Lions on Friday.