Matchday Live - Euro 2020 Group D:
England versus Croatia

Join Sam Matthews Boehmer for live updates as England target a first tournament win in Group D.

To interact with the blog, send your comments to @BoarSport.


England 1-0 Croatia

Thank you for joining me today. A winning start to England's Euros campaign, but by no means an encouraging performance.

Although England dominated the opening stages of the game, Croatia were better for the rest of the game, and deserved a draw at least. Much more dynamism and attacking football is needed against better teams.


Dominic Calvert-Lewin is on for Raheem Sterling. This game is petering out.


Jude Bellingham is on! The youngest player ever at a European Championships at 17. He replaces Harry Kane, meaning England are going defensive.


Croatia are really starting to press, and England to sit back, although there have been few chances of note as of yet.


Subs for both teams:

And Rashford is on for Foden for England.

The England goal:


A good chance for Croatia, who are still a threat here. A couple of blocked shots lead to the ball falling at the feet of Rebic inside the penalty area, but he puts it wide.


And now Harry Kane puts the ball over from two yards out after a great ball by Sterling.

England are looking a lot better after the goal.


A good run through by today's MoM Kalvin Phillips, who plays it to Raheem Sterling, who finishes beyond the goalkeeper.

It's not deserved with the run of play but maybe this will instigate some better football from England.


Modric shoots from distance but Pickford saves comfortably. Croatia somehow are beginning to dominate this game.


Second half is getting started as the first ended, as England look lethargic and Croatia threatening. England need to be careful here.

We're getting back underway for the second half.


A good start for England, but since then they've completely dropped off. Very few chances, apart from Foden's shot, for either side, and immense lethargy as the half came to an end.

A much improved second half is needed.


A very subdued end to the half, as England have completely lost their momentum.

Also, I've just realised Jadon Sancho has been left off the bench. An odd decision.


What has happened to England? For 20 minutes they were on top, but have let Croatia grow into the game and are now just sitting back and not pressing at all. This is not 'conserving energy', it is lazy. Passing for the sake of passing


Croatia are growing into this, however. They are becoming more composed on the ball and Perisic blasts a good chance over the bar.


Croatia are a shadow of their former selves. They're really struggling to carry out their attempts to pass it out from the back. Apart from Modric there is very little quality or threat in this team.


To be fair to Southgate, although Phillips and Rice are very similar players, he has given Phillips licence to push further forward and join the attacks, something that has already bourn fruit with a couple of Phillips shots.


England are threatening here. Sterling breaks beyond the Croatian defence but his shot is blocked behind for a corner.


Croatia have started the better of the two teams, as Luka Modric tries to find an opening in the penalty area but is halted by the referee.

England break down the other end and Foden hits the post, however.

KICK-OFF!!! Mainly clapping at the taking of the knee, with a couple of boos.

Kick-off is nearly here.

Will there be booing at the taking of the knee?

And now my favourite part of these Euros matches: the national anthems (even if one of them is God Save the Queen).

Defensive weakness?

Both teams' weakest areas is in their defence. Croatia are relying on Dejan Lovren, while England are starting Tyrone Mings, two poor players at this level. Could this game be decided by defensive mistakes rather than attacking genius.

Ben Northcott sees Southgate's formation being more complex than it seems on paper, with Southgate favourite Trippier given a free licence.

Will England's players be able to deal with this level of untried and untested complexity?

Croatian team news

This team is not bad at all. The midfield and attack possess some real quality, but the defence is weak. Why isn't Southgate exploiting this weakness?

Shouldn't Grealish be starting?

Mitchell Ryan believes that Grealish 'carried' England in the warm-up friendlies, so why isn't he starting here you wonder?

As much as Sterling is a good player, he has not played much at all this season, and surely a more creative force is needed against a weak Croatian back-line?

Team news

And the predictions have been proven to be correct! A very odd decision by Southgate who seems to be looking to avoid defeat rather than going for the victory. This will come back to bite him if you ask me.

Team news?

David Ornstein is suggesting that the above line-up is what Gareth Southgate has decided to line-up with for England's first game of the tournament, against Croatia.

To me this seems very questionable, as, with two high-quality left-backs in Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell, why choose someone more accustomed to the right-hand-side?

Also, the double-pivot has been proven to be fallible, and this Croatia team is not one to go defensive against.

Has Gareth messed up once again?


After a year of waiting, England's Euro 2020 campaign finally begins today.

Hype is increasing around this squad, which is full of talented players and should go far in the tournament.

Today's game, however, against World Cup finalists Croatia, will not be easy, so it should be an exciting match-up to get Euro 2020 properly up and running.

If you would like to interact with the blog, please send your thoughts to @BoarSport and/or @BoehmerSam on Twitter.

I'll be updating the page every couple of hours during the day, with my 'match' coverage starting an hour before kick-off.