Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

What to expect from Croatia and England’s World Cup semifinal

What to expect from Croatia and England’s World Cup semifinal

Gareth Southgate has warned that England's semi-final against Croatia will be his side's toughest test at the World Cup so far.

The Spurs ace scored his first goal of the competition on Saturday afternoon as he headed home Jesse Lingard's cross to seal a 2-0 win against Sweden, and fans will be hoping that it sparks improved performances after a disappointing tournament to date.

He is now trying to minimise potential distractions as his young team prepare to take the next step in their bid to repeat the 1966 World Cup triumph at home. But we have approached it the same way, a lot of guys enjoying our football and enjoying it at the time. "Our preparation for the game has been identical". I think back to when Tottenham played Liverpool at Wembley and Harry destroyed him.

"You don't have to change things, you don't have to do things differently". All of that work is great but you really have to achieve at senior level in the end for that to be fulfilled.

Wednesday's World Cup semifinal game between England and Croatia is at 2 p.m. ET on FOX. We have come back after 20 years to the semis and we deserve it.

"We have made several pieces of history in the tournament and we're just looking to keep breaking those barriers down".

Gareth Southgate has created an exciting young squad, built upon an attractive style of play and a fearless attitude rarely seen from English sides in global football.

Dele Alli eager to take on Croatia's Modric
Ernst Happel of Austria led the Netherlands to the 1978 final, where it lost in extra time to Argentina . With 30 minutes to go in this game I think England will run away with it and win comfortably.

Don't miss out on this industry-best 7/5 (2.40) price on Kane to score in 90 minutes from dabblebet, boosted from 11/10 (2.10), ahead of England's biggest game since reaching this stage in 1990.

With an average squad age of just over 26 and fewer combined caps than any other participating team, Southgate knows there is still plenty of room for improvement.

"That's exactly what I asked our fitness coach as well", said Southgate in Moscow. The more big games we're involved in, the more pressure situations they're involved in and emerge from successful, the more belief it will build.

"So we're excited about the future but we also want to make the most of the opportunity we have tomorrow".

He will have a central role to play against a Croatia side that relies heavily on the creativity of Real Madrid's Luka Modric and Rakitic, who plays for Barcelona.

"Health has to be number one, but to play for the Croatian team, to play in the World Cup semi-final, I do not need to even say that I will be giving it 300% to be fit". "We feel much easier at this point", said striker Mario Mandzukic.

Southgate pointed to the uniting effect the team's exploits have had on a nation enduring "difficult moments" economically and politically, with the seniors threatening to emulate the achievements of England's under-17s and under-20s, both now world champions, and the European Championship-winning under-19s.

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