Henderson hopeful on fitness for World Cup semi-final

Ross Houston
July 10, 2018

"But any team in a World Cup semi-final is going to find the energy and going to find the motivation".

Their one defeat came against Belgium in their final group game, in a match between two essentially reserve sides.

While many outsiders view that unexpected Croatian run to the last four as a great success, inside the country many share the view of the team's then manager Miroslav Blazevic that it was a missed opportunity.

Croatia defender Domagoj Vida could face further action by Federation Internationale de Football Association following the emergence of a second video of him appearing to shout "Glory to Ukraine!", as well as "Belgrade burn!", after his country's World Cup win over Russia. But there is less pressure on them now. So we'll just have to assess people as we go.

Croatia have needed penalty shoot-outs to overcome Denmark and Russian Federation in the knockout stage.

"But we enjoy to play against big teams, as we showed against Argentina, and have nothing to lose". Their first encounter, in 1996, ended in a goalless draw.

Real Madrid playmaker Modric, who was at Tottenham Hotspur earlier in his career at the same time a young Kane was starting out, has been a particular inspiration. "We've got to win because we play better".

The Liverpool midfielder was taken off five minutes from the end of the last-eight victory over Sweden at the weekend due to a tight hamstring.

Gareth Southgate and his players looked relaxed as they left their base in Repino to make the trip to Moscow where they will battle it out for a place in the final.

But the England boss is well aware of the threat that Croatia pose in the centre of the field.

All eyes will be on Raheem Sterling once again.

While the set piece has been England's most decisive weapon on their run to the semi-finals, and they won a penalty shootout to beat Colombia, Croatia will feel they have the edge if the match remains deadlocked after extra time.

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