These are the semi-final matchups at the FIFA World Cup (SCHEDULE)

England players celebrate scoring a goal. Image PA

England players celebrate scoring a goal. Image PA

Monaco keeper Subasic is understood to have missed training as a precaution, so as not to aggravate his problematic hamstring, while Lovren's unspecified injury is not thought to be serious enough to keep him out of the semi-final. Their ability to maintain possession and composure, even as a youthful team, is what has led them to this semi-final match.

In the prediction for the result of the semi-final match between Belgium and France, Khunnai Cham, the 4-year-old female macaque picked up a Belgian national flag that was placed next to the French national flag. "I am sure we'll be looking at ourselves more than the opposition but they're a top team and they thoroughly deserve to be in the semifinal, as do we".

But this time around, the Didier Deschamps tutored squad looks fired up to go for broke as they seek to emulate the class of France '98 squad of which Deschamps was the World Cup winning captain.

The World Cup rivalry between the two European Union members dates back to the 1938 World Cup which France hosted and Les Bleus defeated Le Diable Rouge 3-1 in an opening round encounter.

France and Belgium are very familiar foes, having played each other a record 73 times. With his absence, coach Martinez may have to change his formation.

The Three Lions team has not seen the semi-finals in nearly thirty years, where they lost to West Germany in 1990.

Both of these countries have needed luck on their side to get to this point, with England needing penalties to get past Colombia, and Croatia prevailing twice in shootouts - against Denmark and Russian Federation.

Yet it is England's creative, dynamic and intelligent midfield that will need to be on the top of its game against Croatia.

England's forward Raheem Sterling gestures during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup quarter-final football match between Sweden and England at the Samara Arena in Samara on July 7, 2018.

The Manchester United midfielder has shown his capabilities in a box-to-box role at the World Cup, helping Kante break up attacking plays and also contributing further forward with vision and creativity. Can we beat Croatia?

"I wasn't born the last time England reached a World Cup semi-final (in 1990)", England keeper Jordan Pickford pointed out when asked about past glories.

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