England handed boost as Croatia rule out Vrsaljko

Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic is crucial to his nation's hopes

AP Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic is crucial to his nation's hopes

"I hope that against England it will finally be our style of play and our match".

It's taken them both a long time to get back here.

Mamic was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison and left Croatia for Bosnia-Herzegovina before the verdict was reached on June 6.

England have for long desired to be at this stage.

"They fought. It was a real playoff match against not the weakest team in the world".

Apart from the experience of 103 worldwide appearances, Lloris has a few other things going his way when he's trying to stop them - including the fact he's faced numerous Belgians already while playing for Tottenham in the Premier League.

"There are no favourites at this World Cup, every game is 50-50 and you have to fight it out".

Nearly £50 million has been matched on Betfair's World Cup victor market, and the encouraging news for England is that more than a third of bets have backed the Three Lions to win the tournament.

A Croatian soccer official will be allowed to watch the team's World Cup semifinal match from a VIP section on Wednesday despite being convicted last month in a corruption case linked to the transfer of captain Luka Modric. The current generation has perpetually been compared to that class of 20 years ago and here is their chance to go one better. "We're looking forward to the future", said Young.

He nailed the semi-finals.


"Thank you, Russia. For the atmosphere and the celebration of football".

"At this point we will not give up anything and will play against England with all the enthusiasm and passion of Croatian football".

Lewis has become exasperated by stories that the All England Club has been indifferent to the national wave of affection which has engulfed Gareth Southgate's football team.

Dalic must rouse his players after the physical demands of their two knock-out wins. "But I'm sure one of us will find a way to surprise him". Eight of their 11 goals have come from free-kicks, corners or penalties.

"We've never won it, so we can't say the same thing". "We work on them in attack and defence and they are vitally important for us".

"They are doing fantastic".

"Even those who didn't believe in them started believing, in the end". Finishing behind Belgium in their group, they beat Colombia on penalties before cruising past Sweden.

Jordan Henderson is a vital fabric of what England want to do - it will be a huge boost if he's fit.

All in all, Croatia are a better-organized team in all departments as compared to England whose players' quest for individual brilliance will be their major undoing. "We have one more step to go in Croatia and we'll treat it as "one game at a time"".

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"We are a tennis tournament but we are aware that there is something special going on elsewhere". It's a massive game and we're focusing on what we need to do.

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