Croatia star Modric expects a tough game against a 'strong' England

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Croatia star Modric expects a tough game against a 'strong' England

The 51-year-old coach, who has only been in charge of the national side since October, was asked about England's strengths and weaknesses and said: "I wouldn't say there are any glaring weaknesses - they are in the semi-finals, that says it all".

Croatia often looked reluctant to attack and Modric's words after the game hinted at a lack of adventure that will surely cost them sooner or later.

Although Croatia went on to suffer an agonising 2-1 defeat to host nation France in the semi-finals, they beat the Netherlands 2-1 in the third-place playoff.

It might even end with an England-France final. They had to get past Sweden first earlier on Saturday and Gareth Southgate's men controlled the match pretty much from start to finish. We all knew what was next.

Ivan Rakitic, so often a key man for Barcelona, was not almost as influential as at club level, while in defence, Russia's Mario Fernandes beat more highly rated defenders to head home a late equaliser.

Squares have been packed with red-and-white painted fans, stalls selling football jerseys and flares, and drivers blaring their horns in scenes reminiscent of 1998.

Then Russia left their Croatian counterparts in hot water (well maybe luke warm) as Denis Cheryshev conceded in the 31st minute of the game.

Kane is leading the World Cup top scorer charts with six goals so far, and he has a chance to extend his lead over four-goal Romelu Lukaku when he takes on Croatia.

"I don't know what will happen if we win, probably nobody will go to work".

However, what stole the show was when Kolinda, the first female president in her country's history, did a little jig in front of a disappointed Medvedev after Croatia struck their second goal to take 2-1 lead in the extra time.

"We know their set-pieces are risky, they have scored seven times from them, but we have no reason to be nervous, we are relieved of any pressure and are here to enjoy ourselves", he said.

Croatia have needed penalties to get through the last two rounds against Denmark and hosts Russian Federation while England swept Sweden aside after downing Colombia in a last-16 shoot-out.

"I was concentrated throughout but after Rakitic's penalty, it came bursting out of me".

But Dalic accepted the late finish of Croatia's quarter-final, coupled with extra-time exertions against Denmark, will pose his squad a physical challenge ahead of Wednesday's semi-final in Moscow.

Rakitic then scored his second penalty shoot-out victor in two games.

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