The best predictions of the World Cup semi-finals

The best predictions of the World Cup semi-finals

The Atletico Madrid defender was substituted off in the seventh minute of extra time in Croatia's shootout win over hosts Russian Federation on Saturday, and Marca (h/t The Sun's Richard Forrester) reported he won't recover in time for their tussle with the Three Lions.

Bilic, who is a mentor to several of the present squad including Modric having nurtured their talent as Croatia's Under-21 handler before becoming head coach of the national side, added he is confident this team can go one better than he and his team-mates in 1998 and reach the final.

"Because we are a smaller country, he does get less attention than he deserves".

Russia's remarkable World Cup run ended in a heart-breaking quarter-final defeat on penalties as Croatia bounced back from a late extra-time equaliser to set up a last-four meeting with England.

"They were sending them to their mums, dads and grandparents who wouldn't believe them when they said how similar I looked!"

Croatia's long periods of possession were largely unproductive, the final pass was invariably missing and they were surprised by Russia's aggressive approach.

Ivan Rakitic, so often a key man for Barcelona, was not almost as influential as at club level, while in defence, Russia's Mario Fernandes beat more highly rated defenders to head home a late equaliser.

"But we are looking forward to a different style of game against England because they like to play attacking football".

More news: Clean bill of health for England ahead of Tunisia opener

"The consistent comparisons and messages I receive from friends all came about since Harry Kane's success at Tottenham over the past two years, and especially this World Cup. It is very near and we will leave our last drop of sweat on the pitch to achieve our goal".

Two days before the clash with England, he sounded more confident.

'It's not the same players and not the same tactics, ' said Lovren.

He also converted a penalty in normal time in the last-16 win over Colombia.

"Putin called me during the day, and he called me right now", Cherchesov said.

France comfortably defeated Uruguay 2-0 in the quarter finals, but is likely to fall short against its neighbor, Goldman said.

Everyone in the team is hungry even though he, with Bayern Munich, captain Luka Modric (Real Madrid) and Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona) have won major club titles such as the Champions League, Mandzukic said.

Eleven host cities, namely Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara, were selected to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup.

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