Finals or relegation? England v Croatia Permutations

Do or die for England and Croatia once again at Wembley

England and Croatia may not be close geographically but a rivalry has formed between the two nations over the years. The Three Lions have suffered heartbreak at the hands of them on a couple of occasions over the last 10 years, so this weekend Gareth Southgate's men will be desperate to inflict revenge. Back in 2007 Croatia denied England making the European Championships and of course this summer, they defeated us in the semi-finals of the World Cup - something we don't need reminding about.

Well on Sunday we face them again and despite the stakes not being as high as our previous meeting in Russia, it's still a must-win clash. The winners of this clash will progress through to the semi-finals of the inaugural UEFA Nations League, which take place next summer. The winners of the Nations League will progress through to Euro 2020 along with picking up a piece of silverware, so this young England side will be desperate to go all the way.

In order to make that stage they need to win but it's still possible that they could be relegated down to League B - so it's certainly going to be an interesting afternoon at Wembley Stadium. We've taken a look at this fixture and explained the permutations, read below for more info...

Nations League Group

If England Win

The easiest to understand scenario and the one we obviously all want. A win for Gareth Southgate's men will see their points total rise to 7 and ensure that win Group A4. Winning their group will see them progress to the semi-finals of the UEFA Nations League and finish ahead of Spain by just one point - meaning that they're win over the 2010 World Cup winners on match day 3 was absolutely crucial.

England

If England are to win it would round off a fantastic year of progress for the national team under Southgate in front of a sell-out Wembley crowd and just to make it that little bit sweeter it will also result in heartbreak for Croatia. The England players will want revenge on them for beating us in the World Cup semi-finals and an England win on Sunday would ensure that Zlatko Dalic's men are relegated down to League B - with 4 points from their 4 games in the Nations League.

ENGLAND WIN - ENGLAND PROGRESS THROUGH TO THE SEMI-FINALS, SPAIN FINISH 2ND, CROATIA ARE RELEGATED TO LEAGUE B

If Croatia win

Croatia suffered a hangover from their incredible 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign which saw them reach the final. Following their 4-2 defeat against France, Croatia went on a 3 game winless run which saw them get battered 6-0 in Spain. But since that they've picked up. Back-to-back wins which includes a victory over the Spaniards on Thursday night. A last minute goal from Tin Jedvaj ensured that they got revenge and gave themselves a fighting chance of progressing through.

Croatia

A win for Croatia will see them leapfrog both England and Spain to win the group and progress through to next years finals. They'll climb to 7 points which will ensure that England fall to the bottom of Group A4. Gareth Southgate's men will then be relegated down into League B, finishing 2 points behind second placed Spain.

CROATIA WIN - THEY PROGRESS THROUGH TO THE SEMI-FINALS, SPAIN FINISH 2ND & ENGLAND ARE RELEGATED TO LEAGUE B

If it's a goalless draw

A 0-0 stalemate at Wembley on Sunday will mean that England miss out on a spot in the UEFA Nations League Finals. This would result in Spain finishing top of Group A4, just one point above the Three Lions which would represent a frustrating end to this stage of the tournament for Gareth Southgate & Co. However, one small consolation would be that they retain their status in League A, whilst also relegating Croatia in the process which the England fans at Wembley could certainly enjoy.

GOALLESS DRAW - SPAIN WIN THE GROUP, ENGLAND FINISH 2ND & CROATIA ARE RELEGATED TO LEAGUE B

If it's a score draw

A score draw would represent something of a disaster for the Three Lions. Due to these two sides drawing 0-0 in Croatia on match day 2, a score draw would put Croatia ahead of England in the standings courtesy of their head-to-head record. A goal scored by the visitors would ensure a better result on the road for them and in turn send them ahead of England into second position, and also relegate the Three Lions. Spain would go through as group winners and compete at next years finals.

SCORE DRAW - SPAIN WIN THE GROUP, CROATIA FINISH 2ND & ENGLAND ARE RELEGATED TO LEAGUE B


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