Croatia ace to play through pain barrier against England

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

"As a team we are not focusing on individuals which is the most important thing".

The challenge posed by Croatia is likely to be more demanding, especially as Zlatko Dalic's side features one of the best midfield pairings around, in Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic. - 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. "I've been involved in all the plans really, right through the age groups", he said.

As for England, they breezed past Sweden 2-0 to seal their first World Cup semi-final appearance since Italia 90. "I'm certain our team will play well and I have complete trust they'll go and play in the way they have throughout this tournament".

"But he is a world class player and he is extremely effective for his country, for his club, and he has been one of the best players here at the World Cup so far".

England manager Gareth Southgate and Harry Kane celebrate their entry into FIFA World Cup 2018 semifinals.

Right back Sime Vrsaljko limped off during the quarterfinal win over host Russian Federation and goalkeeper Danijel Subasic had a hamstring injury during extra time but remained in the match. - Harry Kane has scored on six of the seven days of the week for England, with Wednesday the exception. Both sides had differing quarter-final performances and are now just a game away from the biggest prize in World Football.

The mission? To support England's bid to win a first World Cup since 1966.

Wimbledon 2018 -- Women's third-round matches
Madison Keys became the latest top-10 seed to bow out of Wimbledon after a dramatic defeat by world number 120 Evgeniya Rodina . The 11-time French Open champion is looking for his third title at the All England Club and first since 2010.

World Cup Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email. Kane was quiet in the victory over Sweden, but the Spurs striker will be looking to add a goal to his tally to fire the Three Lions to World Cup glory.

Prediction: Worn down after two straight penalty shoot-out wins, Croatia eventually fall victim to yet another set-piece goal from England.

"We are really proud with the style of our play, the intelligence of our play and that we have performed under pressure".

England hasn't played in the semifinals of a major tournament since Southgate's penalty kick at Wembley was saved by Andreas Koepke 22 years ago, and Andrea Moeller put the next kick over David Seaman and under the crossbar.

"Health has to be number one, but to play for the Croatian team, to play in the World Cup semi-final, I do not need to even say that I will be giving it 300% to be fit".

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 the England boss is well aware of the threat that Croatia pose in the centre of the field.

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