England reaching the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup is momentous, so it deserves to be celebrated on a massive scale. Hyde Park is screening the England vs Croatia match for free on July 11th, for 30,000 lucky ballot winners. Whilst fans await the match, they will be pondering the likeliness of England triumphing over the Croatians.
Many of the favourites to win the World cup, such as Germany, Argentina and Brazil, are out, giving England a good chance of winning. Bookies Betfair have predicted that England have a 13/10 chance of winning, compared to 13/5 for Croatia. However, a closer look at the statistics is needed to evaluate England’s chances.
In terms of players, Luka Modrić and Harry Kane are arguably the best players for Croatia and England, respectively. Modrić is the most capped player on the Croatian team, with 111 caps, whilst Kane only has 28. England’s most capped player is Cahill with 61. Modrić has scored 2 goals, in comparison to Kane’s 6. In terms of international goals, Kane trumps Modrić, with 19 compared to Modrić’s 15. FIFA tracking data has gathered that Modrić has covered 50.8km, whilst Kane has only covered 38.7km. However, it should be taken into account that Kane has played in 4 of England’s World cup matches, whilst Modric has played in 5 for Croatia. Based on these statistics, Kane appears to dominate.
Age wise, the Croatian team are older than the English team. The BBC calculated that the average age of those in Team England is 25.7, compared to 29.1 for the Croatian team. Although, age is not always a determinant of ability. However, experience is, which the Croatian team have in abundance. In total, Croatia have taken part in 957 international matches, whilst England have only taken part in 552. Furthermore, 13 of those currently on the Croatian team played in the 2014 World cup. Equally, only five players on the English team have experience taking part in a World cup. Croatia understand what it means to be close to winning and will use that determination to their advantage. England should not be deterred by these statistics, since they have beaten Croatia 4 times out of the 7 times they have played against them.
The statistics suggest that England are in good stead to beat Croatia. The way England have conducted themselves so far, and the fierce determination of the players, have only served to strengthen the facts. 1966 was significant for marking England’s last victory in a World cup semi-final, winning 2-1 over Portugal. Could 2018 be significant for ending England’s 52 years of waiting?