Sunday, 20 January, 2019

Croatia Will Defend The Unofficial World Title Against England

Luka Modric has captained Croatia in Russia Luka Modric has captained Croatia in Russia
Stacy Diaz | 11 July, 2018, 21:40

Just for once, England are quite likeable and while I am still not convinced they are a very good team, they could be playing in a World Cup final on Sunday. Croatia will likely control possession but that plays into England's hands.

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.

It will be the third match his has officiated at the World Cup after overseeing Morocco vs Iran and Nigeria vs Argentina.

Even though he gets himself into great positions and should score goals in even game he plays, Sterling is a bad finisher when chances come his way and he needs to be more clinical if he gets in decent positions against Croatia tonight.

England will seek to reach their first World Cup final since 1966 when they lock horns with a talented Croatia team on Wednesday for the right to play France for the trophy.

Asked what he would be demanding from his players, the England coach told ITV: "To be able to keep doing what we have been doing, play with real defensive discipline, good organisation, tactical awareness". "I think with the energy, the organisation, the confidence at the moment, England are a force".

"I'm a little bit anxious about Harry Kane".

Croatia is showing the world that their 1998 golden generation - a side that also went to the World Cup semifinal - was not an aberration and that the country can produce top-level soccer talent to compete with the world's best.

"This team is nowhere near the level they´re going to be capable of, partly because of their age and partly because over the next few years, with us and with their clubs, they´re going to have more and more big-match experiences".

While Croatia possess arguably the best central midfield pairing in the tournament in the shape of Real Madrid's Luka Modric and Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic, Southgate's language does not indicate he is about to bring in Eric Dier as an additional defensive midfielder alongside Jordan Henderson.

Russia's Ministry of Communications said the number of applications by Britons for World Cup fan identity documents increased by over 29 percent, or by 6,300 applications, since July 7. "We'll repeat that this Sunday", said one supporter, Sebastien.

England has shown that fielding a team young enough to forget the mistakes of the past can be incredibly useful in building confidence - especially when that team is led by a former player from those years of mediocrity.

Croatia have needed penalty shoot-outs to overcome Denmark and Russian Federation in the knockout stage.