The Three Lions last had the chance of reaching a World Cup final in 1990 but lost out on penalties to Germany and had to make do with the third-place play-off.CLICKHERE
They beat Sweden 2-0 on Saturday, before Croatia advanced at the expense of hosts Russia on penalties.
The Vatreni will be hoping to go further than their side from 1998, who lost to hosts and eventual winners France in the semi-final.
Date: Wednesday, July 11
Time: 9 p.m. local/7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ET
Live Stream: ITV Hub (UK), Fox Soccer 2GO (USA)
According to Ollie Salt of the Daily Star, Jordan Henderson is a doubt for England, who otherwise have no injury or suspension concerns.
Per the Mirror‘s David McDonnell, Dejan Lovren and Danijel Subasic are doubts for Croatia, but full-back Sime Vrsaljko has been ruled out, according to Robert Cottingham of MailOnline.
After making history with England’s first-ever penalty-shootout win at a World Cup against Colombia, the Three Lions did what many of their predecessors would have failed to do—get through a quarter-final against a team of Sweden’s calibre in relative comfort.
The Swedes had been quietly impressive throughout the tournament and looked set to nullify England’s attacking threat with their organisation and solidity, but Gareth Southgate’s side broke through their defences and held on to secure passage to the final four.
Football writer Karl Matchett was impressed:
All eyes will be on Raheem Sterling once again. The forward has come in for criticism on social media during the tournament and the same was the case against Sweden after some missed opportunities.
While there’s room for improvement in terms of his finishing and end product, the Manchester City star has still played an important role in England’s progression through the tournament, as former Three Lions striker Gary Lineker noted:
Behind him, England’s midfield will face their biggest test as they look to deal with star pairing Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, not to mention the likes of Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic.
As ESPN’s Michael Cox noted, Real Madrid playmaker Modric has had an exceptional tournament for Croatia:
A similarly masterful performance from the 32-year-old could spell the end of England’s World Cup hopes in what is set to be a difficult game for both sides.
Fatigue could be an issue for Croatia as the game wears on, given they have gone to extra time and penalties in both knockout games in Russia, although they also won both shootouts.
If it goes that far, they should have the advantage even after England defied history to win their shootout with Colombia.