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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Croatia v England Preview

Sport

7Dnews London

Wed, 11 Jul 2018 17:09 GMT

After seeing France go through to the World Cup final, England are up against Croatia in what may turn out to be the trickiest task for Gareth Southgate and his men.

Croatia, who have not been in the tournament semis since 1998, have showed the world what they are made of, after seeing off the likes of Nigeria, Argentina and tournament-hosts Russia on their route to the last-four stage.

Real Madrid playmaker, Luka Modric, is going to be seen as the greatest threat for the English defence, as so far he has managed to create 14 chances and find the net twice. The 27-year-old no.10 produced one of the tournament’s most memorable moments when he saw his inch-perfect shot fall into the back of Argentina’s net.

In addition to Real Madrid’s star-players, Croatia is going to rely on Ivan Rakitic in ball distribution and Mario Mandzukic, who will try to make use of his height to win long balls against the English defence.

The one-time World Cup winners are expected to approach the game differently, after showing their ability to win games in which over half of their tournament goals have been scored from set-pieces.

Southgate - who has guided England to the furthest stage in a World Cup since 1990 – may look into keeping his first eleven, while having the likes of Marcus Rashford and Jamie Vardy as a backup to the English attacking line.

The winner of this tie will face Didier Deschamps’ France side on July 15th in Moscow.

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