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Pick your England XI for Croatia semi-final

10 July 2018

The small European country have some tidy players, including Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic.

"It's been a long season, but you play in a World Cup semi-final once in a lifetime and there's no point giving up now. The higher the level of opponent, if you press in a disorganised fashion, then you will get picked through and we have got to be conscious of that", he said.

The England captain, who has not scored from open play since England's rout of Panama in their second group match, does not have the lightning speed that would expose the lack of pace in the Croatian central defence.

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"They're very risky on set-pieces", said Real Madrid midfielder Modric.

"I think Raheem has been fundamental to the way that we have played - his movement, the positions he takes up, his pressing of the ball, his work-rate for the team, the winning of free kicks and corners, his speed to stretch teams".

"We don't really care about who we play or who are the favourites".

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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. "It's just little stuff to maybe give us an edge".

England, meanwhile, reached the semi-finals for the first time in 28 years with the help of eight goals from set-pieces, more than any other side in the tournament, including three penalties.

"What they did was impressive but we want to keep writing our own history and enjoy what we are doing which is very positive", he added.

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Pick your England XI for Croatia semi-final