Lovren ready for Kane test at World Cup

Lynette Rowe
July 11, 2018

The confidence coursing through Southgate's squad was apparent before tomorrow's World Cup semi-final showdown as his players maintained they have achieved nothing yet and vowed to be bold as they seek to reach Sunday's final.

Striker Mario Mandzukic has been one of them and continues to play a big role in World Cup finals for his nation having been involved in four goals at this stage of the tournament.

The most-cherished national team memory remains the 1966 World Cup final victory at Wembley over West Germany, a demarcation point in the island's history as much as 1066 (the Norman invasion) and 1707 (union with Scotland). How are the English feeling?

England fans are being given a run for their money in Moscow, with Croatia's supporters showing they can have just as much fun by partying under an enormous flag decked out in their football team's colours.

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

However, Liverpool centre-back Lovren dismissed such fears.

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It says: "We need this for all those supporting England, as the next day will not be pleasant for all fans". "We're really proud in the style that we've played, with the intelligence that we've played, and that we've performed under pressure and dealt with hard situations in games where we've had to wait until the last minute to score, we've had to recover from conceding in last minute, we've been through extra time, penalties". "It may repeat itself once, maybe never". "Why would we change given how far we have come playing as we have?" It has needed penalty kicks in both knockout games, against Denmark and then host Russian Federation in the quarterfinals to reach this stage.

"Last time we got this far in the finals was nearly 30 years ago in 1990 - I was 17, the whole country went nuts".

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.

"We want players to be 100 per cent but we will see after training".

Ask anyone rooting for England in the World Cup, and they'll tell you, "It's coming home". "I just wish them all the very best of luck tonight".

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