Jaded Croatia look to master Modric to carry them through against England

England fans at the Old Bush Inn Albrighton

England fans at the Old Bush Inn Albrighton

Croatia's shoot-out victory over Russian Federation was their second straight win on penalties at the World Cup, after they beat Denmark in the same fashion in their last-16 tie. "There is pressure but also enjoyment of being in the World Cup semi-finals", Mandzukic said.

"I said that of the eight quarter-finalists, only Sweden and Russian Federation can't win it, so England definitely have a chance".

"Dejan Lovren knows him and plays very well paired with Domagoj Vida so I am not concerned about stopping English players - we stopped Messi and Eriksen, and we'll try to do the same with Kane".

People will point to Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic but I'm not anxious about the extra experience Croatia have - yeah, they might have a few more caps but none of them have won a World Cup or been in a World Cup final. At the beginning of working together with the lads and trying to sell them the vision of what's possible, what we're looking to achieve in the long-term.

"I turned my phone off for three hours before the game because I needed an hour's sleep and I just felt now it's no more messages it's just focus, it's about the team and us as a group".

"(And at the other end), England are scoring goals and looking very unsafe at set-pieces".

However, Subasic remained on the field and was the hero for Croatia in the penalty shootout as he saved from Fyodor Smolov. They'll be raring to get out there and win again. "And if it's France I think they'll win it". I speak to a couple of the lads in the squad and they seem calm and composed. "I see it in the eyes of the players, when I enter the team hotel, go to the training session, in the dining room, that they are very well prepared". I remember Italia 90 and it was just insane, so enjoy this semi-final and have fun. The offence carries a penalty of up to five years in jail. It will probably come down to whichever defence plays best. Belgium were absolutely brilliant against Brazil last time out, with coach Roberto Martinez emerging from that 2-1 victory with a lot of credit after switching tactics and allowing Kevin De Bruyne more freedom in the final third.

I hope it's an open game, and I don't want to tempt fate but it should give us goals.

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