England faces Croatia THIS EVENING and needs both a win and a helping hand from Portugal to keep their European U21 Championship dreams alive: everything you need to know before kick-off
England faces Croatia on Wednesday night and needs a win to keep hopes alive for the glory of the European Under-21 Championship.
It was a desperately disappointing start to the tournament for manager Aidy Boothroyd and England, who lost their first two games, 1-0 against Switzerland and 2-0 against Portugal.
England now just need to beat Croatia to advance to this summer’s quarter-finals, although they also need the help of groupleaders Portugal, who need the Three Lions to beat Switzerland. It is then about the goal difference, so England will have to win well. However, they will have to do without an injured Callum Hudson-Odoi, who has already returned to Chelsea.
Aidy Boothroyd’s England squad must beat Croatia to have any chance of progress
When is Croatia vs England?
England will take on Croatia in their final group match on Wednesday, match 31 at 5pm GMT.
The crucial encounter, which will determine whether England advance to the quarter-finals, is played behind closed doors at Bonifika Stadium in Koper, Slovenia.
How do I watch Croatia versus England?
England’s pivotal meeting with Croatia will be broadcast on both Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League.
Sky Sports subscribers can also watch the games online by streaming them on Sky Go.
Viewers can also purchase a Sky Sports day pass with it NowTV for £ 9.99, with a monthly pass for £ 33.99.
How are things with the English group?
England are currently at the bottom of Group D and have lost both opening games
After two defeats from as many games, England are at the bottom of Group D, which has certainly come as a shock to many with the range of talent available to Boothroyd.
England, which entered the tournament as one of the favorites, has yet to score in either match against Switzerland or Portugal, in fact failing to register a single shot at goal from open play.
In first place is Portugal, which has won two of two. And while England have not scored a goal, Portugal has yet to concede in either match against Bootthroyd’s side or against Croatia.
They face third place in Switzerland today, with England needing the current group leaders to win again, and hopefully with a few goals.
In second place are England’s up-and-coming opponents Croatia, although the Three Lions could skip their counterparts with a major win.
Croatia vs England: team news
Emile Smith Rowe (left) is a big doubt, while Callum Hudson-Odoi (right) is definitely out
With such a huge game ahead, it comes as a huge blow to Boothroyd and England as Callum Hudson-Odoi – a star name on the team blade – has been sent to Chelsea to be treated for a shoulder injury.
Emile Smith Rowe, who was such a bright spark for Arsenal in their domestic campaign, is also a big doubt, although the extent of his injuries is still unknown.
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher, who is currently on loan to West Brom, is expected to start as a midfielder.
Boothroyd has also confirmed that he plans to spend a few minutes on those who haven’t performed yet.
ENGLAND U21 SQUAD
Josef Bursik (Stoke city), Josh Griffiths (Cheltenham Town – on loan from West Brom), Aaron Ramsdale (Sheffield United)
Max Aarons (Norwich City), Am Godfrey (Everton), Marc Guehi (Swansea City – on loan from Chelsea), Lloyd Kelly (Bournemouth), Ryan Sessegnon (Hoffenheim – on loan from Tottenham), Steven Sessegnon (Bristol City, on loan from Fulham), Japhet Tanganga (Tottenham), Ben Wilmot (Watford)
Tom Davies (Everton), Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace), Conor Gallagher (West Brom – on loan from Chelsea), Curtis Jones (Liverpool), Dwight McNeil (Burnley), Oliver Skipp (Norwich City – on loan from Tottenham), Todd Cantwell (Norwich)
Rhian Brewster (Sheffield United), Noni Madueke (PSV Eindhoven), Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal), Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal)
Croatia vs England: the odds
Despite losing both opening games, it is England that comes in their crucial game with Croatia as the favorite.
The Three Lions are preferred on 19/20 to win, while Croatia is on 29/10 to take the three points.
Meanwhile, there is a draw on 27/10.
* Odds according to Betfair, and correct at the time of publication.