Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Modric reveals Croatia biggest concern ahead of England clash

Modric reveals Croatia biggest concern ahead of England clash

Here is a look at some of the key head-to-head duels which could prove decisive.

The pair will battle again on Wednesday, and Alli has told The Guardian that he hopes to embarrass Modric again with another nutmeg on the global stage this time - but his focus will be on attempting to help England reach the World Cup final.

Henderson, if again selected as England's sole holding midfielder, will need to be at his disruptive best to prevent the Croatians developing a stranglehold in the middle of the pitch, while also watching out for those surging runs forward.

If you want to know how England can beat Croatia, first I have to take you into the heart of the French midfield.

Croatia Coach Zlatko Dalic has identified Raheem Sterling as England's danger man in the World Cup semi-final on Wednesday.

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He has won 32 sets in a row at Wimbledon - two short of his personal best streak, between 2005's third round and the 2006 final. Mannarino won only two points in the first five games and the opening set was brought to an end inside just 16 minutes.

The only other option Southgate is considering is whether he sacrifices one of his three attacking players behind Harry Kane, to bring in Eric Dier alongside Henderson, as he did for friendlies against the likes of Germany, Holland and Italy.

The Spurs ace scored his first goal of the competition on Saturday afternoon as he headed home Jesse Lingard's cross to seal a 2-0 win against Sweden, and fans will be hoping that it sparks improved performances after a disappointing tournament to date.

"They're very unsafe on set-pieces".

In a World Cup where set-pieces have played such a huge role and with teams becoming ever more cautious as the final approaches, that edge could prove the difference between England ending 52 years of hurt or falling at the penultimate hurdle.

The big Croatian looks likely to shake off the hamstring injury that hampered him against the Russians and would be an imposing figure between the sticks for England's penalty takers if a place in the final came down to spot-kicks.

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