Zlatko Dalic says Croatia's World Cup progress is no surprise

Pupils and staff from Minister Church of England Primary School in Ramsgate Kent show their support for Gareth Southgate and England in the World Cup semi-final

Zlatko Dalic says Croatia's World Cup progress is no surprise

To be fair to Neville he has been gushing over England's performances in Russian Federation, so he will be quite happy to have been proved wrong by wing back Trippier, centre-back Maguire and goalkeeper Pickford, who have all been huge so far for the their Country.

Mia Šetula, a Croatian student at Bournemouth University, admitted she will be cheering for England's opponents tonight.

THE hopes and fears of the nation have reached new heights ahead of England's semi-final clash with Croatia.

"The feel of this group of players is very similar to the players we had then, but that team was a lot more experienced in terms of age and experience of big matches", Southgate recalled.

Croatia looked vulnerable from set-pieces against Russian Federation, conceding the equaliser in extra-time via a set-play, so this is an area England can exploit.

Becky Jackson, 47, who is now a teaching assistant at the school, has been following the World Cup with her family who have parties for every England game.

She added that she is flying back to Croatia and would be watching the game as part of a joint birthday football celebration.

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He said: "I think Croatia have a better side".

Steve, who was at the 1982, 1990 and 1998 World Cups as a member of the media, picks up the story: "Twenty years ago in 1998 I got involved with Statto (Angus Loughran) from (Frank) Skinner and (David) Baddiel's Fantasy Football, which was all the rage at that time", he said. It's a tough one but I've got to go with my roots and support the Croatian boys.

"I'm not normally a lover of the World Cup, because it's at the end of the season, with too many teams in the group stage".

Another football fan flying to Croatia to watch the game is James Stephenson, from Winton.

"We've won after scoring in the last minute, won after conceding in the last minute, come through extra time and penalties". They'll have to be hugely proud of the team and they must think that they can beat us.

England are Croatia's opponents in the final four of the tournament as they bid to reach their first final. I am ignoring the meaningless match against Belgium.

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