World Cup 2018: Croatia Team, Predicted Playing XI & Starting Lineup vs England
UPDATE: Croatia XI vs England - Subasic; Vrsaljko, Vida, Lovren, Strinic; Rakitic, Modric; Rebic, Brozovic, Perisic; Mandzukic
The second World Cup semi-final sees Croatia take on England at the Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday to decide who meets France in the final. France had beaten Belgium 1-0 in the first semi-final on Tuesday.
Both England and Croatia have defied expectations to reach the semi-finals and also had the luck of the draw going their way as they avoided the heavyweights. But they still had an arduous road to the semis.
England had to see off Colombia in a penalty shootout but they made short work of Sweden who impressed everyone with a run to the quarter-finals. On the other hand, Croatia saw both their knockout fixtures go to extra-time and penalties against Denmark and Russia in the Round of 16 and quarter-finals respectively.
Croatia may be tired after playing two consecutive 120-minute matches but they are up for the semi-final. And they will face the Golden Boot leader and England captain Harry Kane when they face off in the semis.
"It will be very hard, he is the top scorer and the best England player, alongside [Raheem] Sterling. Dejan Lovren knows him and plays very well paired with Domagoj Vida so I am not concerned about stopping English players - we stopped Messi and Eriksen, and we'll try to do the same with Kane." - Zlatko Dalic
Croatia have never reached the final and their best finish came in 1998 when they finished third. And they will be looking to at least do one better than that team who the squad consider as legends.
Croatia Team News
The biggest issue for Croatia is the absence of Sime Vrsaljko who is out for the game. The Atletico Madrid right-back limped out of the quarter-final game against Russia and Domagoj Vida could take his place there if training sessions are anything to go by.
Goalkeeper Danijel Subasic and defender Dejan Lovren missed training earlier this week and were doubts for the game but they should start against England. Everyone else is available for the match.
How will Croatia line up against England?
Dalic will most likely deploy a 4-2-3-1 formation with Danijel Subasic in goal. Ivan Strinic will continue to play at left-back but it is the other flank which will see some rotation due to the unavailability of Vrsaljko.
With Domagoj Vida possibly playing at right-back Dejan Lovren will partner Vedran Corluka in central defence. Although capable of playing at right-back, the veteran defender has played in central defence of late.
Marcelo Brozovic could start in central midfield alongside Ivan Rakitic and that will allow Luka Modric to play in an advanced role as a no.10. Ivan Perisic will play on the left while Ante Rebic starts on the right.
Mario Mandzukic will start up front and lead the line for Croatia.
Croatia XI and Formation
Note: This article will be updated with the confirmed lineups when they are announced.
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