England v Croatia: Head-to-head record and previous meetings

England v Croatia: Head-to-head record and previous meetings

England's last appearance at this stage was in 1990 when they lost in a penalty shootout to West Germany in Turin while eight years later, in their first World Cup as an independent nation, Croatia lost to hosts and eventual winners France.

Vrsaljko says that he expects the match against England to be completely different than the games against Denmark and Russian Federation. "Our preparation for the game has been identical". So for us we can feel the energy and support from home and it is a very special feeling and a privilege for us'.

As reported by ESPN FC on Monday, the inflatable unicorn races in the swimming pool at England's Repino base, as well as the Fortnite competitions, darts and 10-pin bowling, have turned this World Cup campaign into what Ashley Young described as a "holiday".

In keeping with his even-handed and calm style, Southgate said his team were neither complacent nor too pumped up for Wednesday's clash at the Luzhniki Stadium, England's first World Cup semi-final since 1990.

"We will enjoy this victory but then we will prepare".

"We are concentrating on what's going on now".

"The age of the players, the improvement in the players and the hunger of the players has been apparent for everybody to see". So we won't win the game just because Croatia had half an hour more football than us three days ago.

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With an average squad age of just over 26 and fewer combined caps than any other participating team, Southgate knows there is still plenty of room for improvement.

The contribution of Raheem Sterling remains a polarising debate in England with the Manchester City player without a goal for his country since October, 2015 but Southgate says the forward's contribution in Russian Federation has been essential. "We've got to be prepared for them with the likes of Luka Modric in the team, who's a fantastic player".

"So we're excited about the future but we also want to make the most of the opportunity we have tomorrow". Right now, though, everyone is enjoying the ride and Southgate admits that the frenzied support back in England is beginning to filter through to his players in Russian Federation.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic has only one real injury concern heading into Wednesday's World Cup semi-final in Russian Federation.

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. Still, the Croatians have shown resilience, especially keeper Danijel Subasic, coming out on top despite an nearly comical list of setbacks that would have done in most teams.

"We can take a lot of good things in the past in terms of '66 and what they achieved then", said Henderson.

England's 11 goals so far are equal to the country's record of most goals at a single World Cup set back in 1966, when they won the title.

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