Croatia vs England @ 21:00 hrs (Moscow time)
Venue: Luzhniki Stadium Moscow
The Croatians have a proverb that says, “I can’t keep calm because am Croatian” – this is similar to what is in their camp at the World Cup in Russia.
Newspaper headlines in Croatia this morning carried several impressive headlines;
“Fill your dreams”, “Once in a lifetime”, “Stop the England and show that you are better team”, “Vatreni, keep going”.
Croatia national football team which is 106 years old could be described as one of the most surprising teams at this World Cup 2018.
Tonight the Croatians will be battling England in Semi-finals at a fully packed Luzhniki Stadium Moscow.
It’s expected to get up to 25 degrees Celsius today.
In 1998 while in France, the Croatians defeated the Netherlands to finish third.
Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic explained his team’s outstanding performance at Russia 2018 saying that the quality in the Croatian squad has now been augmented by strong character and a winning mentality…and a little bit of luck.
For the England team which has for several years suffered low support back home is now feeling excited and blessed for a surprisingly big support in this World Cup.
England manager Gareth Southgate told journalists his team is proud of the support they are receiving.
“Our country has had a long time of suffering in terms of football. The enthusiasm they have for these players, not only because of the way they’ve played but how they’ve conducted themselves…our country has been through some difficult moments recently in terms of its unity, but sport can unite,” He said.
According to Gareth, Football, especially, can unite; “We can feel the energy and support from home, and that’s a privilege for us.”
Former England international Alex Scott has outlined why she’s confident the Three Lions can defeat Croatia, in her column for The Telegraph:
“One reason I am confident about England’s chances is that Croatia’s players looked exhausted at the end of extra-time against Russia. England will have spotted that and a central part of the game plan will be to make their opponents chase the ball. For every sprint they make early on, a small gap will appear late in the game.
“That is why the passing approach favoured by Southgate is key. Jordan Pickford in goal has great distribution and Kyle Walker in the back three has the pace and ability to drive forward. They can help force Croatia to work incredibly hard to win back possession. Every member of England’s side knows how to pass the ball under pressure.”