Follow all of the live action from the Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday 11 July as Croatia play England in the World Cup semi-final with kick-off at 20:00 CEST.
Croatia vs England live online: updates | World Cup 2018
Croatia vs England live online: preview | World Cup 2018
England are aiming to make their first World Cup final since 1966 and Croatia their first ever major tournament decider. On Wednesday night, we will find out who joins France in this World Cup’s final game on Sunday afternoon in Moscow after they beat Belgium on Tuesday night. Kick-off from the Luzhniki is at 20:00 CEST on 11 July 2018 in what will be a historic evening regardless of the result.
Croatia have come through a couple of difficult games and a tough group to get them started. They needed penalties in both of their knockout games against Denmark and Russia most recently. Mario Mandzukic, who was visibly gassed at the end of that Russia clash, says Croatia will muster more energy and says they are ready for the challenge they face with an in-form Jordan Pickford between the sticks, “We’ve seen that he is doing very well at the World Cup. He has good potential and I’m sure he has a bright future. [But] I believe someone will find a way to surprise him.” Danijel Subasic says he will play through the pain barrier after suffering an injury to his hamstring in extra-time of the quarter-final. Sime Vrsaljko is out for Croatia after the right-back went down during the Russia game and had to go off. The Atlético Madrid defender will be hard to replace given what he offers going forward for Zlatko Dalic’s team. Regardless, Luka Modric is the man England will have to stop. Dalic thinks he is playing the best football of his career and it’s hard to argue. With no obvious Balon d’Or contender, Modric has emerged as a potential outsider and Eric Dier says England have to be wary of the ‘world class’ midfield magician.
English fans around the world have talked themselves into the idea that football is “coming home.” They played it smart during the group stages with wins over Tunisia and Panama. They lost to Belgium in that final group game which left them with the theoretically easier path to a potential final. That rest many of the players were afforded against the Red Devils might come in very handy on Wednesday night too despite being brought to penalties by Colombia. They saw off a stagnant Sweden challenge in the quarter-finals and are full of confidence heading into Wednesday’s clash. In terms of injuries and suspensions, Gareth Southgate will likely have Jordan Henderson, who has recently been praising his manager’s approach, manning the center of his midfield despite suffering from a tight hamstring recently but Jamie Vardy remains out having suffered a groin injury against Colombia in the last 16 tie.