Croatia v England: where the world Cup semi-closing can be gained or lost
The massive resolution Zlatko Dalic has to make lies in midfield. Does he play Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic deep with Andrej Kramaric in entrance of them Fig 1, or does he do what he did in opposition t Argentina and Denmark and bring in a greater orthodox holding midfielder?
the former has the abilities of providing greater direct support for Mario Mandzukic so there is somebody to select up the second ball when he wins knockdowns or to capitalise when he pulls wide and crosses, as Kramaric did against Russia. Modric and Rakitic can then are trying to daftar poker control possession and the tempo from deep in midfield. The hazard for Croatia is that Modric finally ends up too deep, unable to exert the variety of affect he did towards Argentina, too tied up with trying to stifle Dele Alli to damage England.
The other alternative is to usher in Marcelo Brozovic Fig 2, or perhaps Milan Badelj. That liberates Modric and Rakitic – despite the fact Rakitic spent a whole lot of that Argentina game monitoring Lionel Messi – and poses a problem for England by using inserting two men in Jordan Henderson’s zone.
that might mean Alli having to drop off, assuming England maintain the identical triangle in midfield in preference to bringing in Eric Dier to play alongside Henderson, or, in all probability, England might depend on some of the lower back three to step as much as offer help behind midfield. that would nonetheless go away them with two guys towards a lone Croatia centre-ahead, which would have the abilities of Alli and Jesse Lingard overmanning in transition towards a single retaining midfielder.
Croatia midfield options Trippier v Perisic
Croatia have a transparent bias to their left, with forty four% of their attacks coming down that flank as adversarial to 33% on the appropriate, with them playing far more through Ivan Perisic than Ante Rebic. England had been far more balanced however this may inevitably have an have an impact on, forcing Kieran Trippier, who has arguably been the ideal correct wing-lower backfull-returned within the event, to do more defending.
That referred to, England do have the advantage of Kyle Walker, who performs at full-returned for his membership, playing on the appropriate of the three important defenders, so if Trippier is caught upfield, he may still be at ease pushing across to cowl. And there is the probability of using a Croatian power against them; if Trippier drives past Perisic, the left-returned Ivan Strinic will also be left isolated. Fig three
The situation is reminiscent of what took place when the facets met in Zagreb in September 2008 – there Rakitic turned into the attacking left-sided Croatian who left his full-back Danijel Pranjic uncovered, leading to Theo Walcott’s simplest overseas hat-trick and a 4-1 England acquire.
Trippier v Perisic Set plays
England have scored 5 of their eleven goals from set plays and two of their penalties have resulted from fouls on Harry Kane conceded within the mêlée England’s corner movements produces. The focal point on corners has been Gareth Southgate’s indisputable triumph, a recognition of a means a country wide manager can make a tangible difference within the exceedingly short time attainable to him.
The basic set-up is easy satisfactory: a line of 4 gamers at the edge of the container, one in all whom stands nevertheless because the ball is delivered while the others scatter, somewhat like a queue in a Tesco Metro abruptly realising two further checkouts are about to be opened. now not most effective does the static player plus his marker function a barrier to support create channels for Kane and Harry Maguire but the flurry of flow seems to impress opponents into making panicky grabs at English shirts.
Queueing whereas declaring foreigners committing infractions of etiquette, of path, has been an English strength for years; Southgate’s genius has been to weaponise it.
Croatia will study England’s circulation and have satisfactory beefy defenders that they may still not be physically intimidated England have received 58.9% of the aerial duels during this tournament, more than anyone else, to Croatia’s fifty seven.5%, however then the identical could have been mentioned of Sweden, towards whom Southgate deployed a variant with two queues of three avid gamers. there will undoubtedly be further routines ready to be unveiled and England could have accompanied how poorly Croatia conceded the late corner in opposition t Russia that brought Mário Fernandes’s equaliser.
Denmark, in the meantime, scored towards them from a protracted throw into the box and Iceland’s Sverrir Ingi Ingason headed in opposition t the bar from a nook within the neighborhood stage.
England’s prowess from set plays can even have knock-on advantages if defenders develop into so anxious on the prospect of conceding a collection play that it makes them, in commence play, reluctant to concede corners. A moment’s hesitation, or an over-bold try and play out from the returned may current England with opportunities.
Mário Fernandes exploits slack set-play marking by way of Croatia to score for Russia. graphic: Robert CianfloneFifa by way of images Penalties
each England and Croatia essential penalties to growth from their ultimate-16 ties, with Croatia then becoming most effective the 2nd group in World Cup historical past to grasp distinct shootouts within the equal event either aspect in Croatia’s last-16 match would have matched the success of Argentina in 1990, as Russia had knocked Spain out by the use of the same method of their old online game. successful video games on penalties, notwithstanding, tends now not to be a sign of long-term fitness. apart from finals, there had been 28 penalty shootouts in World Cup heritage: handiest eight of the victors have long gone on to remove their next online game within a hundred and twenty minutes, and a type of become enjoying a aspect that had also progressed by means of means of penalties.
Modric has seemed in danger of resurrecting an international Cup subculture of essentially the most technically proficient players failing from the passage Socrates, Michel Platini, Dragan Stojkovic, Diego Maradona, Chris Waddle …. He saw his kick saved in extra time in opposition t Denmark and his two penalties in shootouts have each been unconvincing. His effort towards Denmark was worried, straight down the core and best just avoided the trailing foot of the goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, while in opposition t Russia Igor Akinfeev reached a shot that turned into nowhere near the nook however become competent handiest to push it on to the submit from where it cannoned in. he’s not a taker to be relied upon.
Mandzukic v Maguire
Amid all of the euphoria, it is perhaps price remembering that the simplest teams England have in fact beaten in this World Cup are Tunisia, Panama and Sweden. however England’s defence coped smartly towards Radamel Falcao, they had been undone via Yerry Mina from that late Colombia corner.
It isn’t intelligent to examine too lots into one second in one game however, if that hinted at a vulnerability to an aerial hazard at the returned, it’s one Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic is supreme to take knowledge of. The 32-12 months-ancient Juventus forward has won 17 of the 30 aerial duels he has been worried in at this World Cup. Assuming he is wholly healthy – he limped in the course of the ultimate minutes of the quarter-ultimate – he poses an aggressive and cell possibility.
Harry Maguire has gained cult repute for his laid-returned angle, his intention against Sweden and the measurement of his head; now is the time for the Leicester city man to again that up with some precise physical defending. The first rate information is that he has gained 29 of 39 aerial duels and sixty five.four% of these he turned into worried in all through the last Premier League season.