‘WaistcoatWednesday’: England fans don waistcoats ahead of semi-final against Croatia

Croatia players celebrate winning the penalty shoot out during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Quarter Final match between Russia and Croatia

Croatia players celebrate winning the penalty shoot out during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Quarter Final match between Russia and Croatia

England manager Gareth Southgate and Harry Kane celebrate their entry into FIFA World Cup 2018 semifinals.

The center-back will be key to limiting England's threat from set pieces and will be a useful weapon in the opposition box, too.

They had won just one knockout match at a major tournament in 16 years before coming to Russian Federation, a 1-0 victory against Ecuador at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

England: Here's something no one expected: England, the most neurotic of worldwide soccer teams, might actually have reason to be confident.

The Three Lions' only worldwide title is the 1966 World Cup victory on home soil.

Harry Kane's first World Cup has seen the best return from any English striker at a major tournament since Gary Lineker's six at the 1990 World Cup. Gareth Southgate is being hailed as a national waistcoat-wearing hero after an unexpected successful campaign.

In their quarter-final clash with Russia, the Croats showed a different side, being willing to slug it out with the Russians for 120 minutes before keeping their cool and winning the shootout in such a partisan atmosphere. "It is not anything horrific, but it bothers me and I hope it will recuperate till the match against England", Vrsaljko said, before adding. Each side has won two of the four meetings since then, which includes England's infamous 3-2 defeat at in November 2007, which saw it miss out on a Euro 2008 spot and led to the departure of boss Steve McClaren.

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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. England hosts the richest football league in the world - English Premier League - but has somehow failed to carry those building blocks to the global stage.

"We're going into a semi-final but it just seems like it's the next step on the journey", he said.

The Croatian midfield is one of the most talented in the tournament and has played a huge part in getting them far.

"This is already big, but we can do more".

In Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, Croatia boast two of the finest midfielders in world football, a fact not lost on fellow schemer Henderson.

Croatia, who became independent in the early 1990s, have reached the World Cup last four once before, in their debut World Cup appearance in 1998.

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 Russian Federation, although they also won both shootouts. Keeping that in mind, their fitness level would be a big point of consideration especially if the game once again goes the distance.

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