Soccer

Chris Sutton's form guide ahead of England v Croatia

CHRIS SUTTON: Harry Kane is in great touch, Phil Foden can light up Euro 2020, but Luka Modric and Marcelo Brozovic are both dangerous – my form guide ahead of England v Croatia

  • England captain Harry Kane should go and get that Golden Boot again
  • Phil Foden is one of the most exciting prospects at the tournament
  • But England must be wary of the still superb Luka Modric, even at 35 
  • Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here.

England finally get their Euro 2020 campaign underway against Croatia at Wembley on Sunday.

The questions around Gareth Southgate’s starting XI – whether to play four or five at the back, which forward should make up the front three – will all be answered in a tough opener against the side that knocked England out of the World Cup semi-final in Russia three years ago.

While England have arguably one of the most talented squads they have taken to a major tournament, Croatia are far from also-rans. Sportsmail columnist Chris Sutton names both his England and Croatia teams ahead of the match and ranks the players on their recent form.  

England 

JORDAN PICKFORD – 7/10

Made mistakes for Everton, ended Virgil van Dijk’s season with a wild lunge but not done much wrong for England, so he’s No 1.

KYLE WALKER – 8

Just completed his best season in a Manchester City shirt and, of all the right back options, he should be starting. Rapid and safe.

JOHN STONES – 8

Enjoyed a season of redemption under Pep Guardiola and England need Stones to be their leader at the back. Clearly grown in confidence.

John Stones has enjoyed a season of redemption under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City

TYRONE MINGS – 6

It’s either Mings or Conor Coady in the absence of Maguire. Toss-up, but Gareth Southgate likes the left-footed Aston Villa defender.

BEN CHILWELL – 7

Still on a high from that Champions League final win. Good competition between him and Luke Shaw — England are blessed with options. 

KALVIN PHILLIPS – 7 

He’s had a terrific season for Leeds. Big call from Southgate to play two holding midfielders. All-action, combative and uses the ball well.

DECLAN RICE – 8

The protector, or ‘CDM’ as the kids call it now. Can put out fires with his impeccable positioning and now better at carrying the ball.

PHIL FODEN – 8

He’s gone blond like Gazza. Let’s hope he plays like him, too. One of the most exciting prospects at these Euros. Do your thing.

Phil Foden is one of the most exciting players at Euro 2020, and has gone blond like Gazza

MASON MOUNT – 8

You’ll struggle to find a harder worker in the England squad than Mount. Hopefully he can replicate the magic he’s worked for Chelsea this season.

RAHEEM STERLING – 6

He’s popped up with pivotal goals in the Champions League this season and he’s as likely as anyone to bag the winner on Sunday.

HARRY KANE – 9

King Kane. Just finished as the top scorer and top assister in the most difficult league in the world. Go get that Golden Boot, Harry!

Harry Kane is in red-hot scoring form and could take the Golden Boot at the tournament

TOTAL SCORE – 82/110 

Croatia

DOMINIK LIVAKOVIC – 6

Dinamo Zagreb goalkeeper who made stupendous save to deny Kane as Tottenham crashed out of the Europa League in March.

SIME VRSALJKO – 6

Serious knee injury hindered this experienced full back but he’s fully recovered now. Second choice to Kieran Trippier at Atletico Madrid.

DOMAGOJ VIDA – 7

Aggressive defender who is an organiser at the back of this Croatia team. Started in the 2018 World Cup semi-final against England.

DUJE CALETA-CAR – 7

Imposing figure at 6ft 4in but very composed on the ball. Pace, strength, he’s got it all. Linked with Liverpool and West Ham in the past.

BORNA BARISIC – 8

Hugely improved defensively under Steven Gerrard at Rangers. Terrific delivery when he gets into the final third and dangerous from set pieces.

Mateo Kovacic will know all about England’s Chelsea players and is an all-action midfielder

MATEO KOVACIC – 8

All-action, robust Chelsea midfielder who gets around the pitch and will give Croatia plenty of snap in the middle of the park.

MARCELO BROZOVIC – 9

A big reason behind Inter Milan’s Serie A title-winning season. Goes box to box, or he can sit and protect. Lovely range of passing.

LUKA MODRIC – 9

Still a superb craftsman, even at the age of 35. Wonderful technician who England need to be on from the get-go.

England’s nemesis Luka Modric remains a great player that England will have to be alert to

ANTE REBIC – 7

Strong season at AC Milan where he’s shown an eye for goal. Good movement and super quick. Should be an intriguing battle with Ben Chilwell.

BRUNO PETKOVIC – 6

He’s putting himself in positions to score but hasn’t been taking his chances. Change that tomorrow and he can become a hero.

IVAN PERISIC – 8

Even at 32, the experienced Perisic has got pace to burn, and England cannot allow him any space in behind to exploit.

TOTAL SCORE: 80/110




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