By Ben Browning
Published: June 13, 2021 1:49 am
Last Updated: June 13, 2021 1:50 am
The day has finally arrived- England take on Croatia at 2pm in the first game in group D, with Three Lions fans hoping for a different result to the meeting two years ago.
The tournament as a whole has been somewhat overshadowed by Christian Eriksen’s horrible collapse in the Denmark vs Finland game, yet the show must go on.
Thus, with less than 12 hours to go, we look at the key stories that are set to develop ahead of the game between the English and their old nemesis.
Modric attacks English Arrogance:
One of the most highly decorated midfielders ever, Luka Modric is set to line up against England tomorrow once again.
And although the Croatian midfielder is full of respect for the England side, he was quick to criticise the media.
Luka Modric on England 👀 pic.twitter.com/7tmUwuw0Be
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 12, 2021
Speaking to ESPN, the Real Madrid veteran said:
“England’s arrogance isn’t so much related to their players, it’s the people around them, some of the journalists and commentators.
It is certainly true that English media consistently offer strong opinions on the current side, and this tournament is no likely to be different.
But do we go too far?
Maguire to travel with the squad
England fans may be handed a boost ahead of their afternoon kick-off with Croatia as captain Harry Maguire is set to travel with the squad.
Gareth Southgate can name 23 of his 26 players for the tie at Wembley, and although Maguire was initially a major doubt, it is possible that the Manchester United centre-back could well feature against England’s 2018 nemesis.
Harry Maguire is travelling with the England squad ahead of tomorrow’s game against Croatia #mulive [men]
— utdreport (@utdreport) June 12, 2021
If Maguire is unable to feature, alternative options include Tyrone Mings, Ben White and Conor Coady, while a change to a back three has also been mooted.
England fans will be hoping to see their most vocal defender back on the pitch as soon as possible, however.
Kane “knows what it means” to represent England
England’s talisman this summer is undoubtedly Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane.
The striker finished first for both goals and assists in 2020/21 and will be central to England getting anywhere in this summer’s tournament.
And, ahead of the Three Lions’ kick off against Croatia, the forward took to twitter to post a motivational message.
We know the last 18 months has been a difficult period for everyone so we hope to put smiles back on faces this summer. We know what it means to represent @England at the Euros. We will give it everything. 💪🏴 pic.twitter.com/m3ZYRj6XAz
— Harry Kane (@HKane) June 12, 2021
The Tottenham Striker said:
We know the last 18 months has been a difficult period for everyone so we hope to put smiles back on faces this summer. We know what it means to represent England at the Euros. We will give it everything.
Whether Kane can back up his fighting talk on the pitch remains to be seen, although a win against Croatia would go a long way to addressing this.
Sterling to start against Croatia:
According to several reputable news channels, Gareth Southgate is set to disregard form in a return to his old ways as England manager.
Despite good performances, Sky Sports report that it will be Raheem Sterling, not Aston Villa man Jack Grealish, that starts against Croatia later today.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) June 12, 2021
It would be a huge shame to see England line up without Grealish, and even more painful to see Sterling, who has flattered to deceive at club level, take his place.
FA pen open letter to fans
Finally, England’s FA penned an open letter to the fans ahead of their return to Wembley to support the Three Lions.
— The FA (@FA) June 12, 2021
In a message posted on social media, the FA wrote:
“As the team has reiterated many times, they will collectively take the knee ahead of their fixtures during the tournament”
“This is personally important to the players and the values the team collectively represents”
“We encourage those that oppose this action to reflect on the message you are sending to the players you are supporting.
“They will do their best for you. Please do your best for them”
Tune in tomorrow for another England Daily after the Three Lions brush aside Croatia.
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