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Croatia fear England's Sterling in semi

10 July 2018

As with the previous knockout rounds, if a game finishes level after 90 minutes it will go to extra time for another 30 minutes.

The Atlético Madrid defender was withdrawn from Croatia's quarterfinal tie against Russian Federation after 97 minutes last Saturday, having picked up a serious injury to his left knee.

How they got there France made smooth work of beating Uruguay 2-0 in their quarter-final, with Raphael Varane and Antonie Griezmann the goalscorers.

Gazza was of course one of the star players the last time England played in an World Cup semi-final back in 1990. Defensively sound while causing one of the best organised sides in the tournament real problems.

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"All the England players have got to do is watch each other's back", he told Sky Sports News.

While England literarily strolled through their match against Sweden, they look favoured to win the highly anticipated match.

The Leicester City centre-half has become a fans' favourite for his World Cup exploits, with his goal against Sweden another step in a wonderful tournament from the giant defender. They have also shown versatility in defence, with their three-man backline anchored by the impressive John Stones, in front of their fearless, agile goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford.

These are two exciting European sides with great futures ahead of them.

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Belgium has never been to the final of a World Cup, but that's exactly what they look poised to do as the highest-ranked team (No. 3 in the latest Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings) left in the tournament. They should beat Croatia.

Prediction A very tough one to call.

England as a nation are preparing for their biggest game in 28 years and the semi-final with Croatia is also easily the biggest game of their careers for a good chunk of the Gareth Southgate's squad.

And so in England, 1966 seems but yesterday and the names of World Cup winners Bobby Moore or Geoff Hurst are present in English hearts and minds.

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Croatia fear England's Sterling in semi