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techkenyot.com February 20, 2019


Modric reveals Croatia biggest concern ahead of England clash

10 July 2018, 05:28 | Henrietta Morgan

Modric reveals Croatia biggest concern ahead of England clash

Croatia confirm coach Ognjen Vukojević has been sacked two days before facing England in World Cup semi-final

In a World Cup where set-pieces have played such a huge role and with teams becoming ever more cautious as the final approaches, that edge could prove the difference between England ending 52 years of hurt or falling at the penultimate hurdle.

Gareth Southgate has chose to name an unchanged starting XI for England's World Cup semi-final clash with Croatia on Wednesday night, according to reports.

"England have great players - they are a fantastic team", he added.

But neither side are in a mood for nostalgia or using the past as motivation.

"He was a constant threat to Sweden, of course he hasn't scored the goals he would have liked to have scored but for myself and the players he has been a crucial part of the way that we have been playing", he said.

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"We'd been spending a lot of time on set pieces, right down to the details, all the runs and the blocks", said midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

"We are just going to stick with what we have been doing all the way through".

This trend has powered the rise of teams that traditionally do not do well in World Cups.

England have been far more reliant on set-play strategy than fellow semi-finalists Belgium and France, who have struck three goals each from them, while their next opponents Croatia have scored from only one set piece and one penalty.

"We're going to have to pay attention to those details, because we conceded a goal against Russian Federation that we shouldn't allow". "They have players like Harry Maguire, Harry Kane, John Stones and others, who are very strong".

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England's 11 goals so far are equal to the country's record of most goals at a single World Cup set back in 1966, when they won the title.

Jordan Henderson had been a fitness concern with a tight hamstring while Jamie Vardy was an unused substitute in Saturday's win over Sweden with a groin injury.

While England enjoyed a relatively stress-free 2-0 win over Sweden in the last eight, Croatia had to come through a gruelling extra time against hosts Russian Federation and then a penalty shootout.

"We experienced the extra time and penalties (against Colombia) and we know the physical and emotional effect of that", he said.

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