Lovren ready for Kane test at World Cup

Lovren ready for Kane test at World Cup

"That's right, I'm picking England to win another penalty shoot-out".

Fox Sports and Telemundo have seen strong ratings for this year's tournament, with Fox building its numbers that so far peaked with a tournament-high 6.32 million tuning in for the Croatia-Russia quarterfinal Saturday on Fox. Croatia will likely control possession but that plays into England's hands.

England and Croatia meet today in the second semifinal of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation, with the victor advancing to play France in Sunday's final. Croatia shone in the group phase, beating Nigeria 2-0 and Argentina 3-0 to make sure of progress to the last 16, allowing them to make nine changes for a 2-1 defeat of Iceland.

"We can feel the energy and the support from home and it´s a very special feeling and a privilege for us", Southgate said on Tuesday.

The fixture will need a calm and experienced referee to overlook the game and keep control of the players, especially if there is similar emotion to what we saw in the final moments of France vs Brazil.

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 hard game for both sides.

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Klopp had to take Lovren off after he had been torn apart by Spurs striker Harry Kane and in truth, Liverpool did well to get to half-time in that game just conceding three goals.

Where else would you get lines like "For a fella that once played as a banger for Real Madrid in a Copa Del Rey match, he certainly banged that one in", "looks like he's banjo'd now alright", or the utterly brilliant "he went down like a big whinge-bag".

There are a number of key battles that may well decide the game; how John Stones copes with the physicality of Mario Mandzukic will be one, as will how Jordan Henderson can cope playing against Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic.

"We have strength and we're united on the pitch".

France impressively contained Belgium in a disciplined performance that was decided by another setpiece goal - a feature of this World Cup - as Barcelona defender Umtiti outjumped the defence to glance the ball past ´keeper Thibaut Courtois. Croatia looked a little vulnerable in the second half against Denmark and then conceded a set-piece against Russian Federation. "We´ll repeat that this Sunday", said one supporter, Sebastien, as the crowd chanted: "We´re in the final!"

England has shown that fielding a team young enough to forget the mistakes of the past can be incredibly useful in building confidence - especially when that team is led by a former player from those years of mediocrity.

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