England and Croatia have been involved in several high-stakes contests in recent years and face another as they meet at Wembley in the opening round of Group D matches at UEFA EURO 2020. Malaysian who loves to watch the match of UEFA EURO can find good value EURO Sports Betting odds in any trusted online casino Malaysia.
• Croatia reached the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup at the expense of England, who turned the tables later that year to qualify for the inaugural UEFA Nations League Finals.
• This is the second time the teams have met at the UEFA European Championship, with co-hosts England making their tenth appearance in the finals and Croatia their sixth. However, while England have never won on Matchday 1, Croatia are still to taste defeat – winning their last three opening fixtures at the final tournament.
• The sides last met in the 2018 UEFA Nations League, a goalless draw in Rijeka on 12 October preceding their finalday contest at Wembley the following month. Andrej Kramarić’s 57th-minute goal put Croatia in front, but strikes in the final 12 minutes from Jesse Lingard (78) and Harry Kane (85) took Gareth Southgate’s England into the Finals in Portugal.
• Zlatko Dalić’s side had enjoyed a comeback win of their own on 11 July that year, in the World Cup semi-final at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. Kieran Trippier’s fifth-minute free-kick was cancelled out by Ivan Perišić in the 68th minute, before Mario Mandžukić scored the decisive goal in the 109th minute.
• Those were the teams’ first fixtures in almost a decade, with Fabio Capello’s England having beaten a Croatia side coached by Slaven Bilić 4-1 in Zagreb and 5-1 in London in qualifying for the 2010 World Cup; Luka Modrić started the first game.
EURO facts: England
• This is England’s tenth appearance in the UEFA European Championship; they finished third in 1968 and also reached the semi-finals on home soil in 1996.
• A team managed by Roy Hodgson won all ten qualifiers on the way to UEFA EURO 2016, where they finished second behind Wales in their section after taking five points from three matches, only to be shocked by Iceland in the round of 16 (1-2).
• Southgate’s side finished top of Group A in UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying, winning seven of their eight matches (L1) to progress six points ahead of the Czech Republic, who are also in Group D at the final tournament. England’s sole defeat came away to the Czechs in their fifth fixture (1-2); they had beaten them 5-0 at Wembley in their opening game.
EURO facts: Croatia
• This is Croatia’s sixth EURO; they have missed out just once since independence, at UEFA EURO 2000, meaning this is their fifth successive finals. They have twice reached the last eight and twice bowed out at the group stage.
• Croatia’s UEFA EURO 2016 campaign was ended in the round of 16 by eventual champions Portugal, who were 1-0 winners after extra time. A team coached by Ante Čačić had finished first in their section on seven points, ahead of defending champions Spain.
• Dalić’s charges were Group E winners in qualifying for UEFA EURO 2020, picking up 17 points from their eight matches to finish three ahead of Wales.
Date of birth: 3 September 1970
Playing career: Crystal Palace, Aston Villa, Middlesbrough
Coaching career: Middlesbrough, England Under-21s, England
• Came through the ranks at Palace, initially as a midfielder, becoming captain and leading the club to promotion to the Premier League in 1993/94. Moved on to Villa following relegation in 1995 and was converted into a centre-back, winning the League Cup in his first season and helping the team reach the 2000 FA Cup final.
• Won 57 caps for England, although perhaps best known for missing a crucial penalty against Germany in the EURO ’96 semi-final at Wembley; also appeared at the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2000.
Date of birth: 26 October 1966
Playing career: Hajduk Split (twice), Budućnost Titograd, Velež, Varteks (twice)
Coaching career: Varteks, Rijeka, Dinamo Tirana, Slaven Belupo (twice), al-Faisaly, al-Hilal, al-Ain, Croatia
• A midfielder, he spent the best years of his playing career at Varteks, scoring 13 goals in 108 matches from 1992– 96.
• Played for Varteks in two spells, and after hanging up his boots in 2000, worked simultaneously as the club’s assistant coach and sporting director. Took sole command on the field for the first time in 2005.
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