England have the edge over Croatia, says Hamann

Luka Modric Croatia 2018

One more rest day on Monday before the action resumes and we get closer to finding out the World Cup 2018 finalists for Sunday's final - will England make it through?

Former Croatia striker Davor Suker claims that England are "lucky" to still be in the 2018 World Cup ahead of Wednesday's semi-final.

England secured their place in the last four - for the first time since 1990 - earlier in the day with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Sweden inside 90 minutes, while Croatia were taken all the way to penalties by Russian Federation after already beating Denmark in a shootout in the previous round.

On Wednesday, it will be Croatia and England's turn, and both teams will appreciate what a massive opportunity this is for them.

England wore all-white at the last World Cup when then faced Costa Rica. Now they can dream of a grander ambition.

England may have been swept up in the belief that "it's coming home" but in Croatia, they are going to face the toughest test of any side they have faced so far. Southgate's young side - they are the third youngest in the tournament - are marginal favourites against Croatia in the semi-finals.

Vida later said he was joking and "the victory is for Croatia, no politics". I'm sincerely happy to be a Russian citizen. This was just a joke for my Ukrainian friends.

The slogan was a rallying cry during the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, which was followed by the Russian annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

The revolt was condemned as illegal by Moscow and sparked a crisis in relations between the two neighbouring states. The national team's unexpected run to the quarterfinals sparked a surge of support from fans who had been mostly indifferent before the World Cup started. With players like the Barcelona midfielder and Real Madrid star Luka Modric, England's defence will need to be alert to ensure they are not pulled apart.

"You were not the 12th player - you were the 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th players", Cherchesov told the crowd gathered on a scenic hill overlooking Luzhniki Stadium.

"From the first second I put together this team, I knew where it was heading", he said.

Cheryshev's four goals are tied with Belgium's Romelu Lukaku and Cristian Ronaldo for the second-most at the tournament.

President Vladimir Putin has invited Cherchesov and his charges to the Kremlin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev commiserated with the players in the dressing room after the defeat.

"We want more", he said.

Hosts Russia, the lowest ranked team in the tournament, scored five of their 11 goals from set-pieces on the way to the quarter-finals, their strongest showing since the end of the Soviet Union, and got past highly fancied Spain in the last 16 thanks to a penalty shootout.

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