Zlatko Dalic: Croatia have energy to exterminate England

12 July, 2018, 04:46 | Author: Anita Tucker
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Former Croatia worldwide Filip Tapalovic has been surprised by the nation's World Cup run, highlighting their mentality and team spirit as crucial. Max Liu runs through the betting.

This was only Croatia's second ever World Cup semi-final after defeat in 1998 to France and it is France they will face on Sunday in Moscow. "Just a little bit", he said.

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If England do go all the way, then some punters will have extra reasons to celebrate.

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The Tottenham midfielder was the hero in the penalty shoot-out win over Colombia in the last 16, and featured as a late substitute in Samara on Saturday, as the Three Lions booked their last-four berth with a comfortable 2-0 triumph over Sweden.

"Those emotions are what drive us, that is our petrol and how we have come back to a semi-final after 20 years".

Quite a number of councils for example around the United Kingdom are making available large outdoor spaces where fans can watch the match and not be forced to pay anything to do so, and what better way to spend the evening that watching England win, with the weather being as good as it is!

Croatian players competed for Yugoslavia between 1945 and 1990 and the modern Croatian FA was not recognised by Federation Internationale de Football Association and UEFA until 1993.

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That year, France both hosted FIFA's World Cup and won, beating Brazil 3-0.

'But that success, that bronze medal from 1998 is still the best achievement in sports (for Croatia) because football is the No 1 sport.

Former Croatia coach Slaven Bilic believes a constant theme in their national sides is their ability to raise their game against big sides, hence their low-key performances against Denmark and Russian Federation in the knockout stages, beating both on penalties, should be disregarded.

"We saw how good they are from dead balls so will have to focus more on defending set-pieces because we conceded from a set-piece today, so have to improve that element of our game".

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In the end, neither Croatia nor England was expected to make it this deep into the tournament, but here they are and France is waiting. I think we believe that we can improve a lot but we will try to do that.

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