Croatia vs. England preview, time, how to watch

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   Paul Gascoigne has urged Gareth Southgate to keep it

It has been more than 50 years of "hurt" for an England side chasing World Cup glory for the first time since 1966 and now they have never had a better chance to emulate the achievements of Sir Alf Ramsey's all-conquering team.

Meanwhile, the last two games for Croatia, against Denmark and Russian Federation, ended the same: with Croatia winning in penalties.

It is the first time since 1998 that the nation of just over four million people have reached this stage, after they eliminated Russian Federation in a penalty shootout at the weekend.

"We can't concentrate too much on them, we have to concentrate on ourselves and that's exactly what we will be doing going into the game".

"If you compare the size of the country I doubt there will be more Croatians [than English fans]".

England and Croatia are teams that innovated over time but have generally been immutable during the World Cup, sticking to virtually identical starting lineups except for group phase finales, after advancement was secure.

"Finals have to be won because we have still not got over the one we lost two years ago", he said.

Vice-president Dean Zlendic said most of the club's 400 members had Croatian heritage.

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"Of course, it's not the same if you play two 90-minute matches and two 120-minute matches, but I still believe we have had ample time to recover and we are professional enough to know who needs what with what kind of recovery".

Croatia are wary of the threat posed by England captain Harry Kane, the tournament's leading scorer with six goals so far, while England will have to close down arguably the best player of this World Cup, Luka Modric.

The victor of England vs Croatia will face France in Sunday's final.

However, Liverpool centre-back Lovren dismissed such fears.

"This is maybe a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity". We feel proud and happy we are in the semifinals, but we do not want to stop there.

"I am perfectly ready and fit and I can say the same for my team-mates".

The contribution of Raheem Sterling remains a polarising debate in England, with the Manchester City player without a goal for his country since October 2015, but Southgate says the forward's contribution in Russian Federation has been essential. That's a rather stressful way to win a game, both for the fans and the players, so they'll be hoping to win this one in regulation and send their squad to the finals for the first time. "We´ll repeat that this Sunday", said one supporter, Sebastien, as the crowd chanted: "We´re in the final!"

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