England's first World Cup semi-final since 1990 attracts few fans

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England's first World Cup semi-final since 1990 attracts few fans

Manager Gareth Southgate and England are ready to face the music. "It will be an attacking game with goals as both teams can't really defend, but it is unlikely to be three shoot-outs in a row for Croatia". Each side has won two of the four meetings since then, which includes England's infamous 3-2 defeat at in November 2007, which saw it miss out on a Euro 2008 spot and led to the departure of boss Steve McClaren. "You can see that togetherness on the pitch now, and I think that's valuable in crucial moments in big games, and yeah, I can definitely say this is most together England team that I've been involved in, and so I think that makes a massive difference and you get your rewards for that".

"They aren't in the semifinal for no reason", he said at a news conference.

"Their opponents are anxious, they are fearing we are going to score. We can't concentrate too much on them, we have to concentrate on ourselves and that's exactly what we will be doing going into the game".

Croatia have needed penalty shoot-outs to overcome Denmark and Russian Federation in the knockout stage.

This is a proud nation and a proud football team, and to reach a World Cup final would represent a truly remarkable story. "Like one heart, one soul".

"We want to continue in the same style that we have been playing until now", he said.

"This is an incredible result for a small country like Croatia".

"England are one of the favourites to win the World Cup and you have to respect that", he said.

In between all the memes you might have noticed it is 28 years since England last contested a World Cup semi-final and a lot has changed since that night in Turin.

Croatia's squad has an average age of 27.9 while England, along with France, are the second youngest squad at the World Cup behind Nigeria at 26.

Pundit Paul Merson has told the Daily Star that he thinks Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren won't have slept well thinking about having to play against Harry Kane tonight. Even Ashley Young, the oldest of England's players, was a couple of days off his fifth birthday.

On the Federation Internationale de Football Association world rankings Croatia are 20th with England at 12th.

World Cup top scorers: Who will lift the Golden Boot in 2018?

- Croatia scored two headers in its last match against Russian Federation - only one of its previous 29 World Cup goals was scored via a header.

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