England home games 'unfair' says Croatia's Modric
Croatia's captain Luka Modric claims England received an unfair advantage at Euro 2020 after all three group matches were scheduled for Wembley.
England start their European Championship season against Croatia on Sunday before hosting Scotland on Friday and the Czech Republic on June 22nd.
With UEFA's decision to host the tournament in eleven cities, several teams are playing their group matches on home soil.
Italy started the belated event on Friday in Rome with a 3-0 win against Turkey in front of their own fans.
But England have a potentially decisive advantage as two round of 16 games, both semi-finals and the final will also be played at Wembley.
Real Madrid midfielder Modric is unhappy that England will have 22,500 fans at Wembley, while Croatian fans have no official tickets.
When asked if England had an unfair advantage, Modric told the BBC, “I think so, yes.
"Anyone would say that teams with a large crowd have a small advantage at home.
"It's a shame there won't be a lot of Croatian fans because we can always feel their presence when they are there.
"But it is what it is. We have to focus on the field and not care about the environment."
- 'Very aggressive' -
Modric was part of the Croatian team that beat England in the 2018 World Cup semi-finals in Russia.
England have drawn and defeated Croatia since that meeting in the Nations League, and Modric admits that Gareth Southgate's side pose a significant threat.
"I rate you very highly. You are definitely one of the favorites for this tournament," said Modric.
"I expect an English team that will be very aggressive, very powerful from the start, with the crowd by their side."
England was accused by Croatia of having an arrogant stance before the World Cup semi-finals three years ago.
"This arrogance relates not so much to the players and the national team as it is to the people around them. Some of the journalists and commentators," Modric said as he tried to play peacemaker.
"I haven't read a lot of media lately. I'm looking forward to the game and don't want to say too much about what's on the other side."
"Of course they will be offensive and aggressive. They are at home, in front of their journalists. They will be motivated. But we are the same."
While England are among the tournament favorites, they could be vulnerable at the back.
Modric hinted that Croatia would try to exploit this potential weakness when he said: "I can't go into details but we are very well prepared.
“The trainer worked a lot with us, what we do and what we try to exploit. Tomorrow you will see what weaknesses we have.
"We played very good games in big competitions and sometimes the nuances prevented us from getting to the top.
"The expectations are high. Our people expect a lot, we expect a lot from ourselves. We are really looking forward to the European Championship and I hope we will show our true selves."
smg / jc
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