Croatia ace to play through pain barrier against England

For England, tomorrow is their first World Cup semi-final since 1990 and their second ever semi-final on foreign soil.

I haven't watched England and thought: 'Wow.' In any game.

"What they did was impressive but we want to keep writing our own history and enjoy what we are doing which is very positive", he added. We came here to enjoy our football.

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 worldwide football.

"That's exactly what I asked our fitness coach as well", said Southgate in Moscow.

As the anticipation builds for this closely matched battle, where are the key battles on the pitch that will ultimately decide who goes on to the final and who will have to settle for the third-place playoff?

Football is apparently coming home but it will be taking a wrong turn once again if England lose to Croatia.

Sales of said waistcoat have rocketed as fans stock up on this summer's must-have item.

The England boss gave a thumbs up to the cameras and the eerie quiet inside Russia's 81,000-seater arena will give way to thunderous noise and extreme tension on Wednesday night.

"We are really proud of the support that we are receiving".

Lovren, the only member of Croatia's squad now playing in the Premier League, said: "Frankly, I don't read what's going on in England". "I feel they're a fantastic team, working for each other and together, which is why they're in a semifinal of a World Cup". He is someone we are aware of and we have to be ready to control him.

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

"It's a huge test for us but we're in the semi-final of a World Cup, we wouldn't expect it to be any different".

Southgate, who confirmed that all 23 members of his squad are fit and available to face Croatia, is experienced enough to know that winning is all that truly matters at this stage.

And he can see similarities between the two groups of players. [In 1996], that team had six captains of their clubs.

Before their arrival in Russia, England had not won a knockout game since the 2006 World Cup. Hendo was one who was feeling tightness in his hamstring, which was why we made the change.

"The milestones [the players] have hit [in Russia] are a great reference point moving forward". Henderson has attempted more passes per game than any other English midfielder at the World Cup, with an average of 59.3.

"I've played against Modric a few times, he's probably one of the best players I've played against", said Henderson. Hopefully they can continue to grow and learn on the biggest stage.

Vanessa Coleman

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