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Croatia v England: Why Wednesday must be Harry Kane's day

11 July 2018, 07:42 | Anna Jefferson

England have not had more than 3,000 fans at any of their World Cup games so far Credit JULIAN SIMMONDS

England fans

England and Croatia are teams that innovated over time but have generally been immutable during the World Cup, sticking to virtually identical starting lineups except for group phase finales, after advancement was secure.

"Last time we got this far in the finals was nearly 30 years ago in 1990 - I was 17, the whole country went nuts".

They have been taken to penalties in both their knockout games and while they would probably have preferred not to have played an extra hour of football, they did so after coming from behind.

Vrsaljko says that he expects the match against England to be completely different than the games against Denmark and Russian Federation.

Now, this is a massive day for the English team, it's their first World Cup semi-final in 28 years.

While not scoring against Sweden in the quarter-finals, Kane was instrumental up front and continues to be the Three Lions key player.

Modric started that match at Wembley and remains integral to Croatia's game 11 years later, the captain having been widely hailed as one of the best players at the finals in Russian Federation.




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.

Prince William, the president of the FA, said: "A new generation is enjoying the magic of this World Cup run".

"We have about 20-25,000 supporters here - with the Russians there will probably be even more behind us".

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

England's last, and only, World Cup victory was in 1966. Defender Dejan Lovren is a teammate of Henderson's on Champions League finalist Liverpool, and Lovren bristled when asked about a 4-1 loss at Tottenham last October when England striker Harry Kane scored twice.

Lovren has featured in all five of Croatia's World Cup games so far and played the entirely of the team's two knockout fixtures with Denmark and Russian Federation that went to a penalty shootout after 120 minutes of play.

A similarly masterful performance from the 32-year-old could spell the end of England's World Cup hopes in what is set to be a hard game for both sides. Should he score, he will become just the third player to score on all seven days of the week for England, after Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard. - Croatia scored two headers in its last match against Russian Federation - only one of its previous 29 World Cup goals was scored via a header.



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