Gareth Southgate drops major England semi-final selection hint


Southgate, who was in the last England side that reached the semifinal of their last major tournament (Euro 1996), has carried a young and vibrant team to Russian Federation but worked his charm with the players ahead of the World Cup.

Harry Kane has been in brilliant form for England on his maiden World Cup, netting six times in just four matches to lead his country to the semi-finals.

Dejan Lovren talks up the talents of Harry Kane, but remains confident that he can stop the England striker from scoring against Croatia in Wednesday's semi-final.

But while many pundits and even England fans are surprised by their progress, Alli says the squad always believed they could go far.

The manager, formerly the head of elite development and the under-21s coach, had played a key role in the Football Association adopting the England DNA blueprint after the terrible showing at the 2014 World Cup, a strategy which championed best practice in scouting, coaching, development and preparation of young players, and which is reaping rewards.

Vrsaljko says that he expects the match against England to be completely different than the games against Denmark and Russian Federation. They had to go through extra time and penalties in both knockout matches against Denmark and Russian Federation but emerged successful in the end to reach the semifinals.

Harry Kane has to lead the group from the front, and now has a great chance of ending the tournament as the golden boot victor. "Social media and everything else, the global thing is so much bigger". "I feel they're a fantastic team, working for each other and together, which is why they're in a semifinal of a World Cup".

- England has not beaten two European nations in a single World Cup since 1982, when it beat Czechoslovakia and France.

The Three Lions are also the second-highest scorers at the World Cup with 11 goals.

Despite strolling to their 2-0 win over Sweden in the quarter-finals, England were pegged back late on against Colombia to take their round-of-16 tie into extra-time and penalties.

England and Croatia have set up an unexpected semifinal clash.

Dier said: "He (Modric) is a great player, one of the best in the world, and whatever position or wherever he plays it doesn't make a difference to a player of that quality".

'Our medical and fitness staff who have pieced together a programme where we've nearly had every player fit for every training session.

Monaco goalkeeper Subasic saved three penalties in Croatia's shootout win over Denmark in the round of 16, and another in the quarter-finals as the Vatreni dramatically ousted hosts Russian Federation on penalties.

The calmness in England's camp on and off the field is in stark contrast to Croatia's experience.