Ben Chilwell England football Leicester City

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Ben Chilwell made his England debut in the friendly against Switzerland on 11 September

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Ben Chilwell England football Leicester City

Gareth Southgate could hand Leicester’s Ben Chilwell his first Three Lions start

Preview

Thursday, October 11, 2018 – 1:07pm

Croatia vs. England

  • What: Uefa Nations League group A4 clash 
  • When: Friday 12 October 
  • Where: Stadion HNK, Rijeka 
  • Kick-off time: 7.45pm (UK time)
  • TV channel: live on Sky Sports Main Event

Gareth Southgate’s England side will be out for revenge against Croatia on Friday night in the Uefa Nations League.

The Three Lions lost their World Cup semi-final against the Croatians, who were then beaten in the final by France in Russia. England’s fixture in Croatia is followed by a trip to Spain on 15 October, which is also in Nations League group A4.

While Tottenham defender Kieran Trippier insists that the Nations League clash is not a revenge mission, his Spurs teammate Harry Kane says England do want to get their own back after losing in Russia.

Speaking to Sky Sports Trippier said: “No, it’s not revenge. Croatia were good on the day against us in the World Cup semi-final but it’s another game. We want to go there, get the win, get the points we need and then look forward to Spain.” 

England captain Kane, the World Cup’s golden boot winner, added in The Daily Telegraph: “We know what happened in the summer, so it will be nice to try and get our own back on them.” 

Despite reaching the World Cup final, Croatia had a terrible start to their Nations League campaign when they lost 6-0 to Spain.

Ghost game

Croatia vs. England will be played behind closed doors at the Stadion HNK in Rijeka. Croatia were handed the punishment after a swastika was marked on the pitch before their Euro 2016 qualifying match against Italy in June 2015, the Evening Standard reports.

Described as a “ghost game” by the BBC, the official attendance of the fixture will be zero as no fans are allowed in the stadium. Only a couple of hundred people will be present, says the BBC, including the media, association officials, Uefa staff, stadium workers and the teams.  

Croatia vs. England team news

England team news

Youngsters Jadon Sancho, Mason Mount and James Maddison were included in the original squad last week, but there have been a number of changes since for England boss Southgate.

Manchester United’s Luke Shaw withdrew and was replaced by Leicester’s Ben Chilwell. And uncapped Brighton defender Lewis Dunk was added in place of the injured James Tarkowski (Burnley).

Tottenham left-back Danny Rose and Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy have also withdrawn with minor injuries and will miss both Nations League matches.

With Shaw and Rose now out of action Leicester star Chilwell, 21, could be handed his first England start. The left-back made his England debut after coming on as a substitute in the 1-0 win against Switzerland last month.

Croatia team news

Croatia will be without striker Mario Mandzukic, who retired from international football in August. The Juventus star scored the winning goal against England in the World Cup semi-final.

Chelsea loanee Mateo Kovacic could start in Croatia’s midfield alongside captain and Ballon d’Or favourite Luka Modric while Dejan Lovren and Ante Rebic have returned to the squad.  

However, Goal.com reports that Sime Vrsaljko, Marcelo Brozovic, Borna Barisic, Lovre Kalinic and Duje Cop are out because of injury.

How to watch on TV

Sky Sports will broadcast live from the Stadion HNK. Kick-off is at 7.45pm (UK time) and Sky Sports Main Event coverage starts at 7pm. 

England squad to face Croatia and Spain

  • Goalkeepers: Marcus Bettinelli (Fulham), Jack Butland (Stoke City), Jordan Pickford (Everton)  
  • Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Harry Maguire (Leicester City), Ben Chilwell (Leicester City), John Stones (Manchester City), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham), Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
  • Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Chelsea), Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Mason Mount (Derby County, on loan from Chelsea), Harry Winks (Tottenham)
  • Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), James Maddison (Leicester City), Marcus Rashford, (Manchester United), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)

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