The 2018 FIFA World Cup continues Wednesday with England and Croatia matching up in the second semifinal fixture. England — fairly easily — defeated Sweden, 2-0, while Croatia just snuck by Russia in penalties. Croatia should be England’s toughest opponent yet.
Let’s take a closer look at where the value’s at in this match.
What to Watch For
Betting on the Draw: Odds — at 3.09 — indicate there’s a 32 percent chance the match ends in a draw (in regular time). There’s a draw in 28 percent of AccuScore sims, suggesting no added or side value on the draw.
The average score after 10,000 simulations is 1.6 – 1.31, in favor of England.
Betting on a Winner in Regulation Time: AccuScore sim data projects this one to be close, but there’s some added side value on England to win the matchup. Odds — at 2.34 — indicate England has about a 42 percent chance to win; they win 43-to-44 percent of AccuScore sims, suggesting some slight added value on them.
Tired Legs: Watch for Croatia to potentially tire out as the game goes on. Luka Modric discussed this week the kind of effect their last couple matches have had on the team. Modric said, “We have played two matches of 120 minutes of football in six days, and of course this will leave a mark on you and you have to pay the toll for such exertions.”
Defensive Consistency: England hasn’t conceded more than 1 goal in a match thus far in the World Cup.
Making History: Croatia has never reached the World Cup final, but did reach the semis in 1998 when they lost to France – the eventual champs.
X-Factor: We’ll be keeping an eye on Croatian goalkeeper Danijel Subasic as he suffered a hamstring injury in the final minutes of the quarterfinal match vs Russia. He made it through the PK shootout, but the team has some worries over his fitness for the match vs England. According to ESPN, Subasic’s save on Fedor Smolov’s penalty made him only the third goalkeeper in history to save four penalties in World Cup shootouts; Subasic saved three against Denmark in the round of 16 shootout.
Head-to-Head: England and Croatia have met seven times in the past; the Three Lions have won four, Croatia with two wins, and one match resulting in a draw.
Harry Kane leads the way for England in AccuScore sims with a a 51-plus percent chance to score. He averages close to four shots overall per sim, 1.23 shots on goal per, and 0.71 goals per sim. Second behind Kane is Raheem Sterling with a 25 percent chance to net the ball.
For Croatia, we’re expecting either Ivan Perisic or Luka Modric to find the back of the net vs England. Perisic has a 22 percent chance to score, averaging 2.79 shots overall per sim, 0.85 shots on goal per, and 0.25 goals per sim. Modric has a 20 percent chance to score; he averages 1.77 shots overall per sim — almost a full attempt less than Perisic — but averages almost as many goals per sim at 0.23.
The odds — at 1.95 — indicate there’s a 51 percent chance the total combined score hits the OVER. That happens in 53-plus percent of AccuScore sims, suggesting some added value on the pic. The OVER is a two-star (out of four) AccuScore hot trend.