The stage is set for the first big game of the ongoing European Championship as England get set to lock horns with Croatia at Wembley Stadium on Sunday. It will be the first match of Group D with Scotland facing the Czech Republic in the other group game of Matchday 1 tomorrow. Talking about today's encounter, both England and Croatia will be looking to start off the tournament on a positive note. While Luka Modric's side will have a psychological edge having defeated The Three Lions in the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup, Harry Kane's side will be keen to take their revenge playing in front of their home fans today. With so many star players on display and so much to look forward to, the fans can certainly expect a hard-fought competitive game of football.
Welcome to the live blog of England vs Croatia!
ENGLAND 1 - 0 CROATIA
RAHEEM STERLING IS THE MATCH WINNER FOR ENGLAND
ITS FULL TIME AT WEMBLEY AS REFEREE BLOWS THE FINAL WHISTLE!
90+3' Safe hands from Pickford
Jordan Pickford jumps high and take charge of a dangerous delivery inside the box. Decisive goalkeeping from England's No. 1.
90+2' The potential match-winner is off
Raheem Sterling has been replaced by Calvert-Lewin for the final two minutes of the game. Will Sterling's 57th minute goal be enough for England to seal the win?
4 added minutes at Wembley...
88' Another injury scare
It's a clash of heads between Jude Bellingham and Domagoj Vida as both the players feel the impact. Fortunately, they are back on their feet and fit to continue.
85' Another substitution for Croatia
Mario Pasalic has been introduced for the final five minutes. He replaced Mateo Kovacic who was on a yellow card.
82' Harry Kane comes off
England manager Gareth Southgate has introduced youngster Jude Bellingham who is replacing captain Harry Kane who seemed to be struggling a bit after that knock few minutes earlier.
Its England 1-0 Croatia with only 10 minutes remaining in the game.
78' Petkovic comes on for Croatia
Croatia have introduced Bruno Petkovic in place of Ante Rebic to find an equalizer.
74' Wayward from Sterling
England gets a ball inside the box and Tyrone Mings flies the highest to direct it in path of Raheem Sterling who fires a shot with his left foot in the stands.
A stat for the fans: Raheem Sterling has been directly involved in 19 goals in his last 17 games for England (13 goals, 6 assists) - Source: UEFA
70' Substitutions for both sides
Nicola Vlasic and Josip Brekalo comes on for Croatia. The duo replaces Marcelo Brozovic and Andrej Kamaric. Meanwhile, Phil Foden is replaced by Marcus Rashford for England.
Marcus Rashford is receiving the instructions on the sideline and is expected to come on very soon. Meanwhile, Croatia are preparing for a double substitution.
66' Counter attack by England
England start a counter-attack as Mason Mount dribbles past everyone only to get brought down by Brozovic who receives a yellow card for his cynical foul. Mount comes very close to score on the resulting free-kick as the ball just goes above the bar.
64' Yellow card for Foden
The England midfielder receives a caution for his foul on Gwardiol. The game is opening up after the goal.
61' Injury Scare for Kane
Mason Mount runs down the left flank and produces a cross for Harry Kane in the danger area. The England captain gets very close to scoring the goal but Gwardiol does enough to put him off as Kane gets hit by the post. Fortunately, he is back on his feet.
57' GOALLL FOR ENGLAND! STERLING SCORES!
Kalvin Philips finds Raheem Sterling with a delightful through ball and the England wingers keeps his calm and fires in a shot at the goal. The goalkeeper gets a touch but gets beaten by the pace as 'The Three Lions' break the deadlock at Wembley. ENGLAND 1 - 0 CROATIA.
55' Modric with a shot on target
Luka Modric tried an audacious attempt quite far away from the box. The Croatia captain finds the target but it is an easy save for Pickford.
53' Well defended by Croatia
Harry Kane tries to find Raheem Sterling with a cheeky through ball but Croatian defenders are up to the task. The ball is released to Luka Modric who is then fouled.
48' Yellow card for Kovacic
Mateo Kovacic receives a booking from the referee for his foul on Mason Mount. The midfielder will need to be careful for the rest of the match.
46' Second half begins
The referee blows the whistle as Croatia gets the action underway.
The players are back on the field as we get set for the second half at Wembley.
No added minutes in first half as referee blows the whistle. It's England 0-0 Croatia at Wembley after first 45 minutes.
42' Yellow card for Caleta-Car
Raheem Sterling attempts to run past the Croatia defenders but Caleta-Car intercepts but used his hand in the process. The centre-back receives a yellow card for the foul as Trippier fires the ball straight at the wall on the resulting free-kick.
40' Poor from Walker
It's been a touch start for experienced Kyle Walker at the right-back position for England. The 31-year-old, having lost the ball few times in the match, once again fires the ball wide for a goal-kick.
32' Croatia with some possession
Croatia have finally found a good period of possession with the ball as Mateo Kovacic dribbles past the defenders in an attempt to launch an attack. Nothing to worry for England but good signs for Luka Modric's side,
26' Wide from Sterling
Kieran Trippier takes a throw in from the left flank and finds Raheem Sterling in a lot of space. The 26-year-old tries to attempt a heroic volley but the effort goes way wide off the goal. Croatia's Ivan Perisic follows it up with a similar wayward effort one minute later.
20' Brilliant by Mount
Mason Mount finds Raheem Sterling inside the box with an outstanding lobbed pass from the left flank. The Man City winger tries to cross the ball towards Harry Kane but Croatia deals with it comfortably.
17' It's offside
England gets a free kick quite some yards away from the goal. Kieran Tripper delivers the ball inside the box and Harry Kane tries to get on the end of it but he has been adjudged offside.
15' England dominating the possession
After first 15 minutes, it's England who have dominated the ball so far with 64% possession to their name. Croatia are slowly settling into the match but Harry Kane's side looks most likely to get the first goal of the match.
8' Sterling on the run
Another good move by England as Raheem Sterling times his run to perfection and almost gets on the end of a through ball. The ball falls to Kalvin Philips at the edge of the box on resulting corner who forces a save from Livakovic. Brilliant start by England.
6' FODEN HITS THE POST!
The first big chance of the game falls to England as Raheem Sterling finds Phil Foden in some space down the right. The Man City midfielder curls in a beautiful shot off his left foot and hits the post from the edge of the box.
3' Cautious start to the game
Both the sides have started quite cautiously with England having the majority of the possession. Not much from Croatia so far.
The players of both the sides take the knee and receives a mixed reception from the fans. The referee blows the whistle as the match begins!
6:30 PM IST: Both the sides are out at Wembley
The playing XI of England and Croatia are out on on the field and are getting set for the kick-off. The 22,500 fans at Wembley are ensuring that the atmosphere is absolutely electric inside the stadium.
We are only 5 minutes away from the kick-off.
6:25 PM IST: Can Trippier be the X-Factor today for England?
Former England player David James believes that England's line-up is quite strong and very similar to what he had predicted. "Trippier will offer a lot of opportunities from set plays," stated James.
6:18 PM IST: Wayne Rooney is at Wembley to support England
6:15 PM IST: Can Modric guide his side to another win against England?
Former England centre-back Rio Ferdinand opines that Luka Modric is going to be the key player for Croatia and England will have to get hold of him. He said, "Modric is a player of huge experience. We didn't get hold of him in the World Cup semi-final; he had the freedom of the park. Give a player of that quality space to exploit, that can be a huge problem."
6:10 PM IST: The players are out on the field for warm-up
6:08 PM IST: I am a huge fan of Perisic: Lampard
Former England player Frank Lampard reveals that he is a huge fan of Ivan Perisic. "He’s a modern day winger, has won the Champions League with Bayern and league with Inter in the last few years. He can score from wide areas and gets shots away with both feet. He’s a threat at any moment," said Lampard.
6:05 PM IST: Southgate is excited for the contest
England's manager Gareth Southgate (ahead of the game): We're very focused on today's game. We have prepared tactically for the game. We know everyone around is hugely excited and we are as well. We have to focus on the performance.
6:00 PM IST: Will it be a repeat of 2018 WC today?
5:30 PM IST: Here are the starting line-ups of both sides
England: Jordan Pickford, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Tyrone Mings, Kieran Trippier, Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips, Phil Foden, Mason Mount, Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane (c)
Croatia: Dominik Livakovic, Sime Vrsaljko, Domagoj Vida, Duje Caleta-Car, Josco Gwardiol, Luka Modric (c), Marcelo Brozovic, Mateo Kovacic, Ante Rebic, Andrej Kamaric, Ivan Perisic