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England vs Croatia betting tips: Kane to net first in opener, Three Lions to reach semis – Euro 2020 predictions


THE SUN is finally shining, the domestic season is over and that means only one thing – it’s coming home.

Euro 2020 will conclude on July 11 at Wembley, with the winners walking the famous steps up to the Royal Box to collect their prize.

PA

Gareth Southgate is dreaming of taking England all the way to glory – but should you be backing them to do so?[/caption]

Three years on from Gareth Southgate’s side crashing out in the World Cup semi-finals, his exciting blend of youth and experience are hoping to end 55 years of hurt.

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The Three Lions are one of the ante-post favourites to lift the cup and SunSport is on hand to bring you the very best England bets ahead of a jam-packed month.

BoyleSports bet of the day

It’s all set for a Sunday sizzler as England begin their challenge against Croatia at Wembley this weekend.

We’re expecting a nervy match in 27c heat at the Home of Football, with Southgate’s men desperate to calm the nerves with three points.

And Harry Kane will be the man trusted with getting revenge on Croatia for that World Cup heartache.

The Tottenham man was rested in the win over Romania and should be going into this one all guns blazing.

PA

Kane to net first against Croatia is our bet of the day at 3/1[/caption]

The Three Lions won two penalties in that victory at Middlesbrough thanks to their quick feet in and around the box.

There’s no chance Jordan Henderson is snatching the ball away from Harry, who is the designed spot-kick taker and rarely fails.

And he’ll always be provided with two or three golden chances a game with the creative talent around him.

Kane is not only a terrific price for tournament Golden Boot, but you can get a whopping 3/1 on him scoring first against Croatia.

That’s value and not to be missed.

  • Bet of the day: Harry Kane to score first against Croatia @ 3/1

England top scorer

There’s plenty of attacking flair in this Southgate side, even if he’s sometimes criticised for blunting it to shield a shaky defence.

All of England’s play is garnered towards providing for their main forward.

And it’s no surprise to see Kane way out in front at odds of just 4/5.

He’s the big fancy of many to win the Golden Boot for the entire tournament – and barring injury, the man is almost guaranteed goals.

He won the Golden Boot in the 2018 World Cup while below his best and was the Premier League’s top scorer last season despite Spurs’ struggles.

If you want something a bit longer for your money, it’s worth a small punt on Marcus Rashford at 13/2.

His price has been inflated by a poor end to the season, but Southgate trusts him and Rashford is too good for this barren spell to continue.

The Man Utd star has netted 22 times this season – despite his recent issues – and loves a goal at Wembley, where the Three Lions will play the majority of their games.

After an incredible year for the campaigner off the pitch, it would be so fitting if he could inspire a new generation with some match-winning performances.

How far will England progress?

Let’s face it – we’re all going to get very giddy if England make a fast start to the tournament.

After the year we’ve all had, you’re allowed to get a little bit excited.

But the way this tournament is set up, with Wembley front and centre of the schedule, England have arguably never had a better chance.

Incredibly, the Three Lions are actually just 5/1 to end 55-years of hurt this summer.

There’s real value elsewhere though and we’re happy to take the price on England reaching the semi-finals.

That’s an excellent 6/4 and is a safer bet with the potential schedule looking favourable should the Three Lions get past the last-16.

Winning the group would put them on a collision course with the so-called Group of Death and a probable clash against Portugal, Germany or France.

Negotiate past that game and the competition really opens up – so don’t miss out on those early prices.

First game – England vs Croatia (Sunday, 2pm)

Revenge is on the menu for Southgate and Co.

It’s almost three long years since that cruel night in Moscow, where Keiran Trippier’s fifth-minute freekick had the nation going bonkers.

We all know how that ended – but this isn’t the same Croatian side as 2018.

They’ve won just two of their last eight internationals and those victories were over Malta and Cyprus.

Hardly anything for England to fear on paper then, with Croatia’s aging side 9/2 to win at Wembley.

We won’t be going near that and reckon that the Three Lions get their campaign off to a winning start – but it’s unlikely to be pretty.

Southgate’s men scored plenty in the qualification phase but are under immense pressure to deliver now on home soil.

With worries over his defence in this opener – and Harry Maguire definitely ruled out – the England manager may match Croatia’s midfield man-for-man.

We don’t expect a classic and reckon this could be decided by the odd goal.

As such, under 2.5 goals at 7/10 is a great bet while England to win 1-0 is a terrific 5/1 and can get your tournament off to a winning start – in more ways than one.

SunSport’s best bets

  • Under 2.5 goals at Wembley @ 7/10
  • England to win @ 5/6
  • Three Lions to triumph 1-0 in tight game @ 5/1

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