Modric reveals Croatia biggest concern ahead of England clash

Ruben Hill
July 11, 2018

Despite the pre-World Cup barbs and snipes regarding Russia's quality and the politically-charged commentary related to the hosts, they bowed out in style, having exceeded expectations and injected the tournament with a healthy dose of enthusiasm.

Dalic stressed that the presence of Croatia in the semifinals is deserved and he placed the current generation of players on a par with the Croatian squad that won the bronze medal at the 1998 World Cup in France. "I don't know if there is a different mentality but it seems that they are more like a team".

Modric and his team-mates watched England's 2-0 regulation time win over Sweden in the quarter-final earlier on Saturday and they noted how Harry Maguire's headed opener from a corner had shaped the occasion. "What I would like is to face the England team of before but now they are very strong and we have to respect them", Suker said. Russian Federation have had a good run, but Croatia should have enough, provided they improve on their showing in the Round of 16 win over Denmark.

"We know their set-pieces are risky, they have scored seven times from them, but we have no reason to be nervous, we are relieved of any pressure and are here to enjoy ourselves", he said. "We're looking forward to the future", said Young.

Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard have a big part to play in finding the gaps behind the Croatian backline.

The coach, however, will have to wait and see if defender Sime Vrsaljko, who played in four of their five games, will be fit for the match after picking up a knee injury.

"England have suffered less than us", Modric said.

"Those emotions are what drive us, that is our petrol and how we have come back to a semi-final after 20 years". But it's a semi-final. Those players on the pitch must be perfectly fit. The belief is that, unlike Denmark, in particular, and Russia, Southgate's team will try to make the game; they will play on the front foot.

"We will have to improve on our set-piece defending between now and Wednesday".

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. "We want to bring a medal home and see how it shines".

"But if we are ready and compact like we were against Argentina, I don't believe we'll have any problems".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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