Lovren ready for Kane test at World Cup

Lovren ready for Kane test at World Cup

Lovren ready for Kane test at World Cup

"We were not certain what this team might be capable of", Southgate admitted to ITV, mindful of England's many recent failures.

It might sound a stretch, but some England fans want matchday in Moscow dubbed "Waistcoat Wednesday" in tribute to manager Gareth Southgate, who has taken to wearing a waistcoat on the touch-line along with suit pants and a dress shirt and tie.

"We've got to win because we play better".

Strong, mobile, indefatigable and good in the air, Mandzukic looks to make life as hard as possible for the defence, stretching play to allow the likes of Modric the space they need to get into the danger zone around the box. "But we have nothing to lose, we will enjoy this game, and hopefully we can write history", said defender Dejan Lovren, of Premier League side Liverpool.

It's not just the fans back home who are enjoying England's historic run to the last four; the players and staff are equally exuberant.

Here, Sportsmail's expert columnists give their views on whether England can beat the Croatians and make it all the way to the final. "The enthusiasm they have for these players, not only because of the way they've played but how they've conducted themselves, we can feel the energy and support from home, and that's a privilege for us".

Wednesday's game will see Lovren reacquainted with Kane, who has carried his prolific form in the Premier League to Russian Federation and is the leading scorer at the tournament with six goals. [In 1996], that team had six captains of their clubs.

Wednesday's World Cup semifinal game between England and Croatia is at 2 p.m. ET on FOX. That is what these guys have done. That has to be spot on the further you go in the tournament ...

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"Yes, we're going into a semi-final but to us it's the next step along the journey". We feel we're in a good place playing well, but football is a low scoring game with random events that can happen.

Croatia are a challenge for England.

The goalkeeper struggled with a muscle injury during Croatia's quarter-final victory over Russia, Subasic needing treatment in extra-time before a heroic performance in the penalty shoot-out.

Jordan Henderson, who has been pivotal to England's progress in his defensive midfield role so far, admits that Modric is a crucial player who must be stopped. "Why didn't you ask me about when I played well?" Their players have won nine Champions Leagues between them, compared to England's one, and 11 of their squad have more than 40 caps.

"I've played against Modric a few times, he's probably one of the best players I've played against", said Henderson. Many supporters are viewing this match as England's chance of revenge.

"We shouldn't be surprised that Croatia are in the last four at a World Cup given the quality of players", said Dalic, who only took over as coach of the "Vatreni" towards the end of their qualifying campaign.

England forward Harry Kane, who tops the World Cup scorers' list in Russian Federation with six goals, is level with former striker Gary Lineker for most goals scored by an England player at one World Cup.

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