Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Pick your England XI for Croatia semi-final

Pick your England XI for Croatia semi-final

The only other option Southgate is considering is whether he sacrifices one of his three attacking players behind Harry Kane, to bring in Eric Dier alongside Henderson, as he did for friendlies against the likes of Germany, Holland and Italy.

"England are looking strong as a team and have scored a lot of goals from set-pieces".

Croatia topped their World Cup group in Russian Federation with three wins out of three games, scoring seven goals and conceding just one.

England needed penalties to beat Colombia in the Round of 16, but eased into the last four with a trouble-free 2-0 victory over Sweden.

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

Croatia, meanwhile have made the World Cup knockout rounds for the first time since 1998, when they reached the semi-final and finished third overall.

Danijel Subasic will play through the pain barrier to help Croatia achieve their dream of playing in a World Cup final this weekend.

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The small European country have some tidy players, including Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic. It's important that we do our best on the pitch.

Dele Alli has also been singled out for having under-performed, but his goal and all-round energetic display against Sweden will see him keep his place in the starting XI.

But he is certainly well aware of the threat that Croatia pose in the centre of the field.

Gareth Southgate's side's potency from set-pieces was certainly on the minds of Croatia after they were forced into penalties by Russian Federation.

Stones, and his defensive partners Harry Maguire and Kyle Walker, will need to be on their toes for the whole game against Croatia's lone striker, particularly when the ball flies into the area from a set piece.

England have a clean bill of health for their World Cup semi-final against Croatia after all 23 players trained on Tuesday.

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