England – Croatia: England get deserved, late turnaround against Croatia (2-1)

Gareth Southgate’s side displayed fluid rotations and movements that enabled England to pull apart the Croatian midfield throughout the first half. After they failed to convert those chances, once again, set pieces saw them home and dry in the second half.

Tactical analysis and match report by Peter M.


Compared to their last UEFA Nations League encounter, against Spain, not much had changed personnel-wise for England. The only changes came in the form of Fabian Delph, John Stones and Kyle Walker, who replaced Harry Winks, Harry Maguire and Kieran Trippier respectively. Gareth Southgate recently replaced his successful 5-3-2 World Cup system with the 4-3-3 setup he began with as an England manager, the attacking trio being Marcus Rashford, Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling.

In spite of his expressed worries about his players’ levels of fatigue, Zlatko Dalić made just one change from the side that played in their enthralling 3-2 win over Spain on Thursday night. Nikola Vlašić replaced Ivan Rakitić, with Luka Modrić now featuring as part of the double pivot 4-2-3-1 is one of the most frequently occurring formations in football. The two most defensive midfielders are called a ‘double pivot’. rather than in the number ten position.


Croatia’s 4-2-3-1 formation against England’s 4-3-3 setup without the ball.

England control early phases of the match

England most often switched to a 3-4-3 shape in possession, as one of Eric Dier and Kyle Walker would be the ones to make up . . .

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Peter (20), lives just outside of London. He’s been writing about tactics and such for over a year now, contributing to a couple of sites during that time. His main club is Arsenal but he’s also followed Real Betis quite heavily since Quique Setién took over last year. This form of writing has become a great passion of his and, although he’s unsure of what his end aim is, he’s enjoying being given new opportunities to continue doing so. [ View all posts ]


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