Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

#WorldCup - Croatia vs England preview

#WorldCup - Croatia vs England preview

England manager Gareth Southgate says he is not about to change his team's approach for Wednesday's World Cup semi-final against Croatia, saying he wants the "same again" from his young side.

Jenas doesn't just believe Modric is among the best - he thinks the Real Madrid man is the top midfielder in the world and is only denied accolades because he doesn't rack up goals like some other stars do.

England hasn't played in the semifinals of a major tournament since Southgate's penalty kick at Wembley was saved by Andreas Koepke 22 years ago, and Andrea Moeller put the next kick over David Seaman and under the crossbar.

This is England's best showing at the World Cup since 1990, when they finished fourth place.

He said: "I didn't feel nervous or anything like that".

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"I think Croatia has a great mentality, a fantastic midfield player to control the game and the possession of the game". When asked about injuries, Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic responded through a translator with inconclusive palaver about Vrsaljko having "this niggle". Each side has won two of the four meetings since then, which includes England's infamous 3-2 defeat at in November 2007, which saw it miss out on a Euro 2008 spot and led to the departure of boss Steve McClaren.

"The biggest thing that the gaffer's brought since he's come in, which he's brought right from day one, was identity, and about the way that we wanted to create a team", Henderson said.

"When you consider how well balanced he is, I just don't see a better player in that area of the pitch anywhere on the planet right now", Jenas said. "You don't want to watch it back but we know how important it was, going into the World Cup, that we had to go back through it to come out stronger".

The contribution of Raheem Sterling remains a polarising debate in England, with the Manchester City player without a goal for his country since October 2015, but Southgate says the forward's contribution in Russian Federation has been essential. "The age of the players, the improvement in the players, the hunger in the players has been apparent for everybody to see".

In both knockout games so far, they've progressed via a penalty shootout after 120-minute slogs against Denmark and then Russian Federation.

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