England V. Croatia, Winner Will Play France

Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric will provide a tough test for England on Wednesday

Image Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric will provide a tough test for England in the semi-final

Croatia booked their spot in the last four the hard way after their last-16 and quarter-final games against Denmark and Russian Federation respectively went to penalties .

"I am perfectly ready and fit and I can say the same for my team-mates".

Speaking at a press conference, the Manchester United wing-back said: "We haven't wont anything yet so there's no point celebrating".

Croatia lost to hosts France in the semi-finals 20 years ago in what was their first World Cup as an independent nation, going on to beat the Netherlands in the third-place play-off. "It may repeat itself once, maybe never".

Dalic admitted that trying to outdo the achievement of that great generation was a driving force for his team, skippered by the brilliant Luka Modric.

England are in the last four of a major tournament for the first time since Euro ´96, when Southgate himself missed a penalty in a shootout defeat against Germany.

"This is what drives us". - 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. "Probably nobody would go to work!" Skipper Harry Kane is at the top of the race for Golden Boot with six goals.

Liverpool defender Lovren was run ragged by Kane when Tottenham thrashed Liverpool 4-1 at Wembley Stadium in October, with Kane turning him twice to score and then set up Son Heung-min before Lovren was substituted after just 31 minutes.

"Our country has been through some hard moments recently in terms of its unity, and sport has the power to do that [unite people]", English manager Gareth Southgate said in a press conference, via the Press Association. "Man, I don't even know how many of our guys are injured or exhausted. we've been to war". But what I can assure you is that yes, we have some energy left to deal with England. "You are just nitpicking at my poor performances".

Dalic refused to confirm whether right-back Sime Vrsaljko would miss the game after the Atletico Madrid player came off in extra-time against Russian Federation. "The enthusiasm they have for these players, not only because of the way they've played but how they've conducted themselves...they've been brilliant ambassadors for our country, everybody can see they are proud to wear the shirt". "It is a game that is very evenly matched, we know what we want to do and we have to focus on our preparation and make sure that we control the controllables as we have attempted to do for every game", the manager said. "We need to be mentally prepared to go the distance".

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