Henderson hopeful on fitness for World Cup semi-final

Lynette Rowe
July 10, 2018

England are dreaming of a first World Cup final since 1966 but first they must come through Wednesday's semi-final at the Luzhniki Stadium against Croatia in what looks like their toughest test yet in Russian Federation.

After making history with England's first-ever penalty-shootout win at a World Cup against Colombia, the Three Lions did what many of their predecessors would have failed to do-get through a quarter-final against a team of Sweden's calibre in relative comfort.

England's last appearance at this stage was in 1990 when they lost in a penalty shootout to West Germany in Turin while eight years later, in their first World Cup as an independent nation, Croatia lost to hosts and eventual winners France. "The higher the level of opponent, if you press in a disorganised fashion, then you will get picked through and we have got to be conscious of that", he said.

Finally, have your say on how far you think England will now go in the World Cup?

Behind him, England's midfield will face their biggest test as they look to deal with star pairing Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, not to mention the likes of Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic.

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Their one defeat came against Belgium in their final group game, in a match between two essentially reserve sides. They have players like Harry Maguire, Harry Kane, John Stones and others, who are very strong.

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.

There were some injury concerns over Jordan Henderson and Jordan Pickford but both have been passed fit to play. It's important that we do our best on the pitch.

But he is certainly well aware of the threat that Croatia pose in the centre of the field.

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