England play the final group match of their first ever UEFA Nations League campaign against Croatia at Wembley on Sunday.

Relegation and progression are both still possible for the hosts after Croatia’s stunning victory at home to Spain earlier this week.

If Croatia beat England on Sunday, they will finish above Gareth Southgate’s side on head-to-head record after they drew 0-0 in Rijeka. England would be bumped down to League B with defeat.

It really is all to play for. The Nations League has brought competitive football to otherwise dreary international breaks.

Matches like this (which is a painful reminder of the World Cup semi-final defeat for England) being played at even a semi-competitive level are better than meaningless friendlies. Both managers will name very strong teams for this one.

Croatia are edging towards the next generation after several post-Russia retirements. Mario Mandzukic and Vedran Corluka retired after the World Cup, which was followed by a string of disappointing results.


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Meanwhile, England are just at the start with this group of players.

Southgate has evolved the team during his tenure, and the next generation are starting to make their mark on the international stage, as we saw from Jadon Sancho and Ben Chilwell’s good performances on Thursday.

The slightly more experienced names will return for England on Sunday. Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling will both start in the front three.

Sterling has taken his game to another level so far this season and is worth backing to score anytime. Kane is still short of his best form, but he’s always a tempting bet in a wincast.

England used the Nations League to switch from 3-5-2 to 4-3-3. The new formation matches up better with Croatia’s midfield triumvirate, but the difference in quality will still be a concern for Southgate.

Ivan Rakitic, Marcelo Brozovic and Luka Modric are a test of any opponent; these are the challenges England’s midfield need to overcome if they are going to be contenders in 2020 and 2022.

If Croatia dominate the middle third, their 3/1 price to win will be a very good bet. With both teams still in with a chance of winning the group this should be an open game.

It could start slowly, but once the first goal goes in, it should be end to end. Over 3.5 goals looks solid value at 43/20.

Despite the match ending with five goals, Croatia were 0-0 with Spain at half-time.

The visitors may look to keep it tight for the first 45 minutes at Wembley too, which makes the 23/20 price on the scores to be level at the break seem interesting. No first half goals is 41/20.

England have played some great football since the World Cup. Croatia have had a tough time but will be buoyed by Thursday’s success.

The Three Lions price of 19/20 to win on Sunday is on the short side. A wincast is a good way to go for this match, or there’s the safer option of both teams to score at 13/20.

The Nations League got a lot of criticism early on. This match could be a great advert for UEFA’s newest competition.


*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*

Sam is a sports tipster, specialising in the Premier League and Champions League.

He covers most sports, including cricket and Formula One. Sam particularly enjoys those on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean – notably MLB and NBA.

Watching, writing and talking about sports betting takes up most of his time, whether that is for a day out at T20 Finals Day or a long night of basketball.

Having been writing for several years, Sam has been working with 888Sport since 2016, contributing multiple articles per week to the blog.