England hope to keep dream alive against Croatia

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The benefit for England is that if Vrsaljko's injury rules him out, it limits Croatia's attacking options down the right and Rebic must act more of a winger than a central striker.

But they'll need to get past Croatia, a nation that has never won a World Cup and has been playing remarkably well in the 2018 tournament in Russian Federation. We can feel the energy and feel support from home and it's a very special feel, a privilege for us. Otherwise, England have no fitness issues going into the last-four.

"We´re going into a semi-final but it just seems like it´s the next step on the journey", Southgate said.

"In big matches you have to be yourself or a bit better".

"So we´re excited about the future but we also want to make the most of the opportunity we have tomorrow".

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Croatia's Luka Modric celebrates with Dejan Lovren after winning the quarterfinal match between Russian Federation and Croatia.

Although Croatia are the most hard opponent England will have faced in the tournament, Southgate's words suggest he will continue with his attacking formation and personnel.

The victor of England-Croatia will face off with France on Sunday night in the Moscow showpiece, and Southgate will be desperate for his side to get there. In the quarterfinals, they outlasted host-nation Russian Federation in penalties after a tough match.

"I am perfectly ready and fit and I can say the same for my team-mates". "We've got to be prepared for them with the likes of Luka Modric in the team, who's a fantastic player".

"This is maybe a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity".

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It is the first time since 1998 that the nation of little over four million people have reached this stage of the competition, after they eliminated Russian Federation in a penalty shoot-out at the weekend.

Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, left, is beaten by a header from France's Samuel Umtiti for the opening goal during the semifinal match between France and Belgium at the 2018 soccer World Cup in St. Petersburg, Russia on Tuesday.

It was a painful defeat for Belgium, foiled at the semi-final for the second time in their history, as the clock ticks on their so-called "golden generation" of players.

- England has not beaten two European nations in a single World Cup since 1982, when it beat Czechoslovakia and France. The two countries are scheduled to face off in a World Cup semifinal matchup scheduled for Wednesday. "We´ll repeat that this Sunday", said one supporter, Sebastien, as the crowd chanted: "We´re in the final!"

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