Southgate in no mood to change England's winning formula


They beat Sweden 2-0 on Saturday, before Croatia advanced at the expense of hosts Russian Federation on penalties. Still, the Croatians have shown resilience, especially keeper Danijel Subasic, coming out on top despite an nearly comical list of setbacks that would have done in most teams.

England too left Italy 28 years ago feeling that the team featuring Gary Lineker and Paul Gascoigne could have gone all the way. I've met quite a few of those players and we know exactly how they're held and perhaps, in the modern era, that would be even crazier. As we regroup, he turns to me and says, "right that's enough, time to lift the tempo, let's get about them". "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.

I can't see anything but an England win.

But on Monday, defender Ashley Young was quick to dismiss it's significance.

"We are just going to stick with what we have been doing all the way through". Not what's happened in the past. They were completely out on their feet late against Russian Federation.

So impressive in the centre of the park for Croatia has Modric been, that he is now one of the favourites to win the Golden Ball, but the experienced midfielder insists he is only focused on his teams success. England went down 3-4 to Croatia that snatched the country's chance of qualifying for Euro 2008.

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Given Croatia had extra time and penalties to recover from, England should come into the game fresher and they also have the edge in previous meetings, winning four of the seven encounters, including a 5-1 victory in their most recent match - a World Cup qualifier in 2009.

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. The Three Lions are confident, and why shouldn't they be?

Croatia, on the other hand, did not have easy wins this World Cup. They lost to hosts and eventual winners France.

Vida has quietly been one of the standout performers at this World Cup, and Croatia will be relieved he avoided a suspension for a rather ill-advised video published online after the win over Russian Federation. They are unbeaten so far in the tournament.

Around a dozen England fans travelling to Moscow on Tuesday for the match wore dark blue waistcoats over their T-shirts as they passed through Heathrow airport, witnesses said.

Croatia's Luka Modric celebrates with Dejan Lovren after winning the quarterfinal match between Russian Federation and Croatia.