England vs Croatia: Time for talk is over as Three Lions kick-off Euro 2020 campaign

The expectations are high. The pressure is immense. But can Gareth Southgate’s men deliver on the big stage?

When: Sunday, June 13, 14:00 BST

How to watch: BBC One

Follow this game live via our score centre

Best Bets

Match winning margin of one goal at 13/10

Second half to have most goals at 23/20

Harry Kane to score anytime at 21/20

Three years ago, Croatia broke English hearts when they knocked the Three Lions out in the 2018 World Cup semi-final.

This Sunday, England have an opportunity to put things right when they welcome the Croats to Wembley Stadium for their Euro 2020 opener.

The stakes aren't as high as they were back in Russia but the importance of this game cannot be downplayed.

More often than not, the first game of a tournament can set the tone and lay down a marker for the remainder of the competition.

Gareth Southgate is under incredible pressure to maximise the potential of England's promising young squad. A win over Croatia would certainly put him - and the nation - at ease ahead of further Group D games with Scotland and the Czech Republic.

Last Three Matches

England 2-1 Croatia (UEFA Nations League - November 18, 2018)

England booked their place in the inaugural UEFA Nations League semi-finals with a dramatic late win over Croatia.

After a goalless first half, the game sprang into life in the second. Croatia took the lead in the 57th minute through Andrej Kramaric as they threatened to break English hearts once again.

However, two late goals from Jesse Lingard and Harry Kane turned the game around as Southgate's side sealed a memorable victory.

Croatia 0-0 England (UEFA Nations League - October 12, 2018)

When the two nations met earlier in the competition, the game ended in a bittersweet goalless draw.

England targeted revenge for their 2018 World Cup semi-final defeat but they failed to score in Rijeka.

The Three Lions had more possession and created more attacks but ultimately failed to break down a well-organised Croatian outfit.

Croatia 1-1 (2-1 aet) England (World Cup - July 11, 2018)

Emotional, dramatic, unforgettable. England's 2018 World Cup semi-final with Croatia certainly won't be forgotten anytime soon.

Streets around the country were deserted as England fans stayed glued to their television screens.

Kieran Trippier sent the nation into pandemonium with his opener in the fifth minute. England held on to their lead for the majority of the game but with 22 minutes to go - disaster struck.

Ivan Perisic bagged an equaliser to send the game to extra-time. It was then where English hearts were broken as Mario Mandzukic bagged the winning goal in the 109th minute.

Last nine head-to-heads

England wins: 5

Draws: 1

Croatia wins: 3

England goals: 21

Croatia goals: 13

Forget the performance - it's all about the result

Have England played exciting football in the run up to this tournament? No. Have they scored a lot of goals? No. Have they looked convincing? No.

But despite all that, the Three Lions are on a six-match winning run. What's more, they've only conceded one goal during this time.

Clearly there are things to work on for Gareth Southgate's men however, the most important thing this Sunday is a result.

England can unleash their young talents in this tournament
England can unleash their young talents in this tournament

Many pundits have urged the England boss to show more attacking incentive considering his many offensive options. But they're not in his position and they don't have to deal with the consequences.

Croatia are still a dangerous outfit and the Three Lions will be in for a tough start to their Euro 2020 campaign.

Ageing and out-for form - but don't count them out yet

Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida, Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic. These four players are the heart of Croatia's current national side. They're also all in their early/mid 30s.

What's more, Croatia are entering this tournament on the back of some poor results. The team have only managed two wins from their last nine games - both coming against Malta and Cyprus.

Luka Modric starred in the 2018 World Cup semi-final against England
Luka Modric starred in the 2018 World Cup semi-final against England

Recent defeats to Sweden, Portugal, Slovenia and Belgium don't make good reading. Neither does their recent 1-1 draw with Armenia.

But despite those results, Croatia cannot be underestimated. With so many big game players in the side, England can be assured a tough contest at Wembley.

Goalscorer bets

Harry Kane ended his last major international tournament as the top scorer.

The Tottenham forward will be looking to cement his place as one of the world's leading strikers when the England's Euro 2020 campaign gets underway.

England's Harry Kane
England's Harry Kane

Kane is well priced to get on the scoresheet against Croatia at 21/20

READ MORE: England's inexperience could be their biggest strength at Euro 2020