Finding out that you agree with Mark Lawrenson is never a totally comfortable feeling.
However, ahead of England v Croatia tonight, I can’t disagree this time.
Lawrenson believes that this will be England’s toughest game so far, and it will be more difficult than many people imagine, but the Three Lions will pull it off.
He predicts England will win 2-1 but only after extra-time, that would be a tough one to experience and a similarly comfortable 2-0 victory, like the one over Sweden, would be much more preferable.
Mark Lawrenson thinks this World Cup could be England’s destiny but Croatia are also believing, their manager declaring that neither England or France have a better squad than Croatia.
Gareth Southgate declare that ‘The key is how you respond to failure and react to it’, well as a Newcastle and England fan I have plenty experience of failure, so let’s hope we are all still looking forward to Sunday’s final after tonight.
“As I have got older, I have become more conscious that it is easy to avoid challenges and avoid putting yourself on the line.
“But in the end you will never know the possibilities of great success or great moments like we have had in the last few weeks.
“The brain sometimes tells you to avoid the possibility of disappointment or failure but that is going to happen.
“The key is how you respond to failure and react to it.”
(Croatia Manager) Zlatko Dalic:
“We have nice memories from France (when Croatia lost in the semis to hosts France in 1998).
“Our players did a great job.
“We want to get close to them, although it is difficult to repeat this endeavour, but we will try.”
“We respect everyone – England, France….but none of the squads is better than us!”
Mark Lawrenson speaking to BBC Sport:
“Croatia have got good players right through their team and, without a doubt, they will be the best team that England have played at this World Cup…I am ignoring the meaningless match against Belgium.
“So I think Gareth Southgate’s side will have to raise their level from what we have seen so far.
“But this just strikes me as one of those games that I really do think England will win, by hook or by crook.
“I just have a feeling that England will find a way to win.
“Sometimes I think these things are written and the way this tournament has opened up for England, is one of the reasons it feels like this is their time.”
“Prediction is England 2 Croatia 1 (after extra time).”
England v Croatia Match Betting:
All England v Croatia betting HERE