Monday, 16 July, 2018

Croatia fear England's Sterling in W Cup semi

Rakitic on Modric WORLD CUP 2018 Rakitic on Modric"I don't like to see him at Madrid Sebastião Moreira EFE
Kristopher Love | 11 July, 2018, 23:19

ZAGREB, July 11 ― Excitement was building in Croatia today ahead of the World Cup semi-final against England, with tens of thousands of fans expected to watch the match on public screens across the country.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic has identified Raheem Sterling as England's danger man in the World Cup semi-final on Wednesday.

Bilic, who is a mentor to several of the present squad including Modric having nurtured their talent as Croatia's Under-21 handler before becoming head coach of the national side, added he is confident this team can go one better than he and his team-mates in 1998 and reach the final.

It promises to be a tight encounter against the Three Lions, but Suker insists Croatia are continuing to build for a bright future regardless of how they fare.

"He is playing the best football of his life".

Players seated on the coach belted out Moja Domovina, a patriotic song that translates to "my homeland" as they drummed their hands on the bus windows.

The midfield, in particular, has an enviable El Clásico combination of Real Madrid's Luka Modric and Barcelona's Ivan Rakitić. "Until last night, when all the pain was removed and when we finally experienced a revival of 1998", the Sportski Novosti newspaper said after that match.

"I've got the utmost respect for him - he's been banging goals in for Spurs for several seasons - but he's not alone, his team-mates play at top clubs, so it will be hard".

But it was not meant to be as Croatia won 4-3 on penalties to advance to a semi-final against England, leaving numerous 48,0000 fans at Sochi's Fisht Stadium in tears.

"He has minor issues but we have a huge game tomorrow".

Four-time Russian champions Zenit Saint Petersburg was the last Russian club to win Europe's second-tier club competition, the Uefa Europa League, in 2008, and the team went on to win Uefa Super Cup the same year, while CSKA Moscow also won Uefa Europa League in 2005. Those players on the pitch must be perfectly fit.

Cherchesov then devised a clever game plan to counter Spain's passing game, which allowed Russian Federation to eventually squeeze past the 2010 world champions and into the last eight. We have played five games, but being exhausted can not be an alibi.

"I think we are underdogs from day one and it's good for us, " Lovren said. Everyone has been out on the streets celebrating what we've achieved and that is a great source of pride for us.