Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Gareth Southgate says England face toughest World Cup test against Croatia

Luka Modric GETTY THREAT Luka Modric could sink England in Moscow
Sidney Guerrero | 11 July, 2018, 16:21

England will be hoping Wednesday turns out to be Harry Kane's day when the Three Lions tackle Croatia in their World Cup semi-final.

Gareth Southgate and England are ready to face the music.

Croatia topped a tough group, winning all three games.

England has gone with a 3-5-2, and the only change was to start Ruben Loftus-Cheek in midfield after Dele Alli injured a thigh. "England have been deadly from set-plays and I think this could be their route to the final".

But Young, who turned 33 on Monday, says it would be futile to focus all their efforts on stopping Modric instead of focusing on the qualities that have brought England this far.

"But we enjoy to play against big teams, as we showed against Argentina, and have nothing to lose".

"They've got players all around the squad that are going to be hard opponents". We go 1-0 down, in danger of going home.

While England enjoyed a relatively stress-free 2-0 win over Sweden in the last eight, Croatia had to come through a grueling extra time against hosts Russian Federation and then a penalty shootout.

Neville thought 3 England stars would struggle at World Cup
They worked in '98 and we worked today, we reached out target to get to the final. "We must take advantage of it now". Fans in Paris celebrate France's victory against Belgium in the World Cup semi-finals.

It's a face-off between England and Croatia.

"We have strength and we're united on the pitch", the Barcelona star told FIFA TV. "We do not want to say we are exhausted, because there are still plenty of opportunities to exhaust ourselves".

"This is an incredible result for a small country like Croatia".

London-based motion graphic company Potion Pictures marked England's brilliant World Cup 2018 performance with a hilarious online video.

"Croatia have world-class players like Modric, Rakitic and Mandzukic, players who are playing in the top clubs".

On the Federation Internationale de Football Association world rankings Croatia are 20th with England at 12th. - England has scored 11 goals at this year's World Cup, tying its record from the victorious 1966 tournament.

England hasn't played in the semifinals of a major tournament since Southgate's penalty kick at Wembley was saved by Andreas Koepke 22 years ago, and Andrea Moeller put the next kick over David Seaman and under the crossbar. - Mario Mandzukic assisted Andrej Kramaric's goal against Russian Federation in the quarterfinal - he has been involved in four goals at the World Cup finals for Croatia (3 goals, 1 assist), with only Davor Suker involved in more (6).

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