Croatia plots 'football Brexit' as England World Cup semi looms

Soccer: Russia can keep on partying after fine World Cup run

Monaco keeper Subasic is understood to have missed training as a precaution, so as not to aggravate his problematic hamstring, while Lovren's unspecified injury is not thought to be serious enough to keep him out of the semi-final.

"We keep hearing the same question and we give out the same answer", said Croatia's Ivan Perisic last week.

Mario Mandzukic has said that he and his Croatia teammates won't let fatigue get in their way when they face England in the semifinals of the 2018 World Cup on Wednesday.

Concerns like these and more are sure to pop up if England beat Croatia today in the second semifinal of this World Cup.

France took full advantage of an Edinson Cavani-less Uruguay, before tournament favourites Brazil were put to the sword by Belgium's incisive counter-attacking in a thrilling game in Kazan. "But Croatia can also cause England problems they haven't had before". So this means more than just a semi-final of the World Cup'.

World Cup glory beckons for Croatian stars such as Luka Modric after several traumatic experiences at major tournaments, says their former coach Slaven Bilic.

They will have to play much better, " said Reuters ahead of the game.

Tens of thousands of Russians gathered in Moscow on Sunday to cheer the national team, after its defeat to Croatia in a penalty shoot-out brought an unlikely World Cup run to an emotional end. "We're enjoying it and we believe", he said. "For the players and Gareth, I wish them massive good luck".

The coach, however, will have to wait and see if defender Sime Vrsaljko, who played in four of their five games, will be fit for the match after picking up a knee injury.

Predicting a "difficult and intriguing match for both teams", the Liverpool centre-back dismissed the notion that Croatia are at a disadvantage because they have had to play 120 minutes twice in a week.

In 1998, Croatia, which had emerged from a bitter independence war only three years earlier, made its debut at a World Cup finals.

"I think he's had his fair share of criticism over the a year ago or so, but he's done so well over the last six months, really, especially after the start of the season".

You would have to go a decade back to see when a Russian club last won a European club football title.

"Until five or six years ago I was bit vain, and in a way glad that in 1998 we set the bar so high that it was hard to even contemplate, let alone jump over it".

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