England and Croatia kick off a wild day of action in the summer of 2021’s Euro 2020 action on Sunday when the two meet at Wembley to open up Group D play. The two nations, both contenders to win the title, are joined in their group by Scotland and the Czech Republic. It’s a rematch of the World Cup semifinals from 2018, which Croatia won en route to finishing the tournament as runners-up.
Here’s how you can watch the match and what to know:
Date: Sunday, June 13 | Time: 9 a.m. ET
Location: Wembley Stadium — London, England
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Odds: England -145; Draw +260; Croatia +440 (via William Hill Sportsbook)
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England: Gareth Southgate faces selection dilemmas at both ends, some more pleasant than others. In attack Jack Grealish has made a convincing case for a starting spot with his performances in the pre-tournament friendlies but to do so might mean sacrificing Phil Foden or a more direct runner in behind such as Raheem Sterling or Jadon Sancho. There are no wrong options per se when you have so much quality in your attack and are really picking options to start around the likely starters Harry Kane and Mason Mount.
It’s at the back that there is cause for concern. Harry Maguire returned to training on Thursday following an ankle injury that sidelined him for a month, without him there is no convincing partner for John Stones. Could a repurposed full-back such as Kyle Walker or Luke Shaw be England’s best option?
Croatia: Bridging the gaps between the great side that reached the World Cup final and a new generation has not been all that easy for Croatia. “Young players need to realize it takes time for them to become a part of this squad,” said head coach Zlatko Dalic amid rumors of a rift between the veterans and others in the party.
Expect this Croatia team to look somewhat long in the tooth with Ivan Perisic, Dejan Lovren and Luka Modric key figures in Dalic’s plans. The one veteran who may prove to be the most irreplaceable is Mario Mandzukic, who retired after the World Cup. Bruno Petkovic has never been the most consistent of scorers for Dinamo Zagreb but his country will need him to come good this summer.
Two teams that should be well matched, Croatia able to dictate terms with possession and England with the pace to rip through this ageing team. They could cancel each other out. Pick: England 1, Croatia 1 (Draw +260)