‘WaistcoatWednesday’: England fans don waistcoats ahead of semi-final against Croatia

Gareth Southgate and England team

GETTYGareth Southgate says it would be'bigger than 1966 if England win the World Cup

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.

Gareth Southgate believes the success his young England side have enjoyed in Russian Federation has offered only a first glimpse of their potential, as the least experienced team at the tournament seek to go beyond Croatia and into a first World Cup final in 52 years. The Three Lions are confident, and why shouldn't they be?

Croatia, on the other hand, did not have easy wins this World Cup.

Despite Kane transferring his form from the Premier League into the World Cup, with six goals to his name in Russia, Croatia's centre-back believes that he has the ability to win their latest tussle. They are unbeaten so far in the tournament.

Midfielder Ivan Rakitic thinks the spirit that carried the team through those tense knockout matches will stand it in good stead against England, which is hoping to beat two European nations at a World Cup for the first time since 1982. - Eight of England's 11 goals at the 2018 World Cup have been scored via set pieces - since 1966, the only team to equal that number in a single World Cup tournament are Portugal in 1966 (also eight goals).

The Three Lions last had the chance of reaching a World Cup final in 1990 but lost out on penalties to Germany and had to make do with the third-place play-off.

The goalkeeper struggled with a muscle injury during Croatia's quarter-final victory over Russia, Subasic needing treatment in extra-time before a heroic performance in the penalty shoot-out.

Croatia have shipped four goals in their last three matches, with Lovren playing a full part in two of those and coming on as a sub in the other.


Only one of their seven matches has ended a draw, with the first meeting, a friendly in 1996, having finished 0-0.

Real Madrid playmaker Modric, who was at Tottenham Hotspur earlier in his career at the same time a young Kane was starting out, has been a particular inspiration. "We've talked about how important it is to have that spirit".

"We don't really care about who we play or who are the favourites".

Who wins England-Croatia? And where does all the value lie? - 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).

"I've played against Modric a few times and he's a world-class player, probably one of the best I've played against". "He can help to create game he is incredible without the ball".

Henderson said of England's semi-final opponents: "They have got some fantastic players".

Monaco goalkeeper Subasic saved three penalties in Croatia's shootout win over Denmark in the round of 16, and another in the quarter-finals as the Vatreni dramatically ousted hosts Russian Federation on penalties.

But he is certainly well aware of the threat that Croatia pose in the center of the field.

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