UEFA Nations League: England and Croatia pick squads for October 12 clash
England face Croatia in their second outing of the UEFA Nations League Group 4 cluster on 12 October. The match to be played at the Stadion Rujevica in the eastern Croatian city of Rijeka will be held in closed doors. The ban on supporters attending is part of a punishment handed down to Croatia after a swastika was drawn on the pitch before a Euro 2016 qualifier against Italy back in June 2015.
England will want to settle scores with the Croatians having lost to the Balkan nation in the WC 2018 Russia semi-finals in July earlier this year.
For England, coach Gareth Southgate has gone in for fresh blood in the form of youngsters, 19-year old Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount, Jadon Sancho, 18, a winger for Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund and 21-year old midfielder. James Maddison from Leicester City.
England Vs Croatia Team Line Up
The England squad for Friday night's Croatia game looks like follows
Goalkeepers: Marcus Bettinelli (Fulham), Jack Butland (Stoke City), Alex McCarthy (Southampton), Jordan Pickford (Everton)
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Harry Maguire, Ben Chilwell (Leicester City), Danny Rose, Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones, Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Lewis Dunk (Brighton)
Midfielders: Ross Barkley, Mason Mount (Chelsea), Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford), Eric Dier, Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), James Maddison (Leicester City),
Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)
Croatia will see the advent of players like Dejan Lovren, Ante Rebic and Andrej Kramaric who had missed the game against Spain owing to various injuries.
Coach Zlatko Dalic has named the following in Croatia's squad to play England
Goalkeepers: Lovre Kalinic (Gent), Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo) Karlo Letica (Brugge)
Defenders: Domagoj Vida (Bešiktaš), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool), Sime Vrsaljko (Inter), Josip Pivarić (Dynamo Kijev), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer Leverkusen), Matej Mitrović (Club Brugge), Borna Barišić (Rangers), Antonio Milić (Anderlecht)
Midfielders: Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Mateo Kovačic (Chelsea), Milan Badelj (Lazio), Marcelo Brozović (Inter), Filip Bradaric (Rijeka), Marko Rog (Napoli), Mario Pašalić (Atalanta)
Strikers: Ivan Perišić (Inter), Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim), Marko Pjaca (Fiorentina), Ante Rebic (Eintracht), Ivan Santini (Anderlecht), Marko Livaja (AEK), Duje Cop (Valladolid)
Recent forms indicate England to have the psychological edge following the Croatians’ 0-6 battering at the hands of a rampaging Spain in a Group clash. The English suffered less damage in another Group outing losing 1-2 to the Spaniards and following that up with a 1-0 win over Switzerland in an international friendly in mid-September.
The match is expected to be a close contest with bookmakers' odds slightly in favor of the hosts.
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