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#WorldCup - Croatia vs England preview
11 July 2018, 07:37 | Charlene Valdez
England have not had more than 3,000 fans at any of their World Cup games so far
Croatia is looking to advance to its first World Cup final as a nation (it was formerly part of Yugoslavia, which participated in the first World Cup in 1930 in Uruguay, finishing fourth).
"I think tonight (Wednesday) will be the biggest test for them".
This will be England's first meeting with Croatia at a major tournament since the Euro 2004 group stage, when the Three Lions triumphed 4-2.
The victor Wednesday advances to Sunday's final against France.
Southgate said he was convinced that win or lose on Wednesday, his team have a bright future after decades of English under-achievement on the worldwide stage.
One tour operator has rented a Boeing 777-300ER, the largest airplane to land in Croatia, to carry 457 fans to Moscow on Wednesday, Croatian state news agency HINA said.
"Both teams have goals in them and it will be a fairly open game".
"This team is nowhere near the level they´re going to be capable of, partly because of their age and partly because over the next few years, with us and with their clubs, they´re going to have more and more big-match experiences".
Croatia have needed penalty shoot-outs to overcome Denmark and Russian Federation in the knockout stage.
"It's wonderful what the team has achieved, not only this World Cup but in the first one they ever took part in in 1998 when they took out bronze". "Like one heart, one soul. We know what it takes and in such moments you forget any fatigue you may feel", said the 29-year-old Liverpool player.
"This is an incredible result for a small country like Croatia". Luka Modric and Vedran Corluka have both passed the 100-cap mark, while Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic are closing in on their centuries.
England's last, and only, World Cup victory was in 1966.
Ask anyone rooting for England in the World Cup, and they'll tell you, "It's coming home".
Should he strike on Wednesday against Croatia, Kane will join Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard as the only other two players to bag goals for England on each day of the week.
We will find out tonight when England play Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium, with the victor returning there on Sunday for the World Cup final where France await.
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- Croatia scored two headers in its last match against Russian Federation - only one of its previous 29 World Cup goals was scored via a header.