England vs Croatia: Gareth Southgate's starting XI 'revealed'

Eric Dier England World Cup 2018

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Alli will surely start again for Gareth Southgate's side, and he will be part of a midfield attempting to stop Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic and Real Madrid's Luka Modric from running riot.

While Croatian players, who have been asked constantly about the generation of 1998 and never fail to express their admiration for the likes of Zvonimir Boban and Davor Suker, those comparisons are a weight they feel is unneeded. "They have a lot of youngsters, but they are really good, fast, they play for great clubs".

But Southgate thinks talk of that handing a physical advantage to England is being overplayed. We'll just have to assess the bodies'.

But he is certainly well aware of the threat that Croatia pose in the centre of the field.

"It's been a long season, but you play in a World Cup semi-final once in a lifetime and there's no point giving up now".

Jordan Henderson hopes to be fit to play in England's World Cup semi-final against Croatia on Wednesday.

England needed penalties to beat Colombia in the Round of 16, but eased into the last four with a trouble-free 2-0 victory over Sweden.

"They're very risky on set-pieces".

Despite a comfortable run through their group, Croatia has had a tougher ride in the knockout rounds, needing extra time and penalties to eliminate both Denmark in the round of 16 and then hosts Russian Federation in the last four.

The Three Lions captain leads the scoring charts in Russian Federation with six goals from just four matches, and is bet365's 10/3 (4.33) favourite to break the deadlock at the Luzhniki Stadium. "It's just little stuff to maybe give us an edge".

England face Croatia at 7pm BST on Wednesday night at the Luzhniki Stadium, with the winners to meet either Belgium or France in the final on Sunday.

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