#WorldCup - Croatia vs England preview

World Cup 2018: England must be aggressive if they are to dominate Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic

World Cup 2018: England must be aggressive if they are to dominate Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic

Modric started that match at Wembley and remains integral to Croatia's game 11 years later, the captain having been widely hailed as one of the best players at the finals in Russian Federation.

The game at Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow starts at 9 p.m. local time, or 2 p.m. ET.

Despite a summer heatwave in England, fans have been urged to wear waistcoats in tribute to those sported by Southgate since the tournament began.

"We were never quite sure how far this team could go", Southgate said.

Lovren, whose nation are into the semi-finals for the first time since 1998, said Croatia could play with freedom.

Southgate said he was convinced that win or lose on Wednesday, his team have a bright future after decades of English under-achievement on the worldwide stage.

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

Croatia can hurt teams further forward, though.

"They've got players all around the squad that are going to be hard opponents. I know I can play better than that".

May will not attend the match because Britain has imposed a diplomatic boycott on Russia after blaming Moscow for the attempted assassination of a former Russian spy in England.

Les Bleus continued their fine competition on Tuesday, as a Samuel Umtiti header was enough to see them past Belgium in the semi-final.

England's last, and only, World Cup victory was in 1966.

- England has not beaten two European nations in a single World Cup since 1982, when it beat Czechoslovakia and France.

France coach Didier Deschamps said he was delighted to have the chance to bury the pain of the Euro 2016 final, which his side lost on home soil to Portugal.

Fans roared as they overcame host nation Russian Federation in a nail-biting quarter-final penalty shootout.

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. Croatia will likely control possession but that plays into England's hands.

Either way, they face their biggest test yet this World Cup and in the biggest game of their careers.

'I'm just hoping he's recuperated really well for this one'. "We'll repeat that this Sunday", said one supporter, Sebastien.

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