The Stadion Rujevica in Rijeka will have an official capacity of 0 for Friday’s Nations League clash between Croatia and England, with the host team having a supporter ban for the match which will lend an eerie feeling to the game.
The Blazers will still have home advantage of a sort, although a lack of partisan crowd clearly plays against a team who reached the World Cup final before losing to France.
Croatia then got spanked 6-0 by Spain last month and it was a result which was put down to opposition excellence and then also fatigue within the ranks, with manager Zlatko Dalic hoping that the players are fresher this time around.
It’s a surprise to see the Croats trading at such a big price to win the game, with the team having previously beaten England in the World Cup semi last summer and they will meet a Three Lions team who are missing some key personnel.
Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard are absent and Gareth Southgate has taken the chance to blood several young players including Jadon Sancho and Mason Mount.
Mount is currently on loan from Chelsea at Derby County and has created the most chances out of any player in the division, although he’s likely to have a watching brief and we might instead witness Harry Winks lining up along with the usual suspects.
While Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane have made bright starts to the season, there is a weakness in the middle of the park and we’re expecting Croatia to bounce back from that spanking by Spain.
Croatia to win @ 8/5 with BetVictor