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England, Croatia Ready For Fire Sparking Fight In Moscow

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The second semi-final of World Cup 2018 kicks off in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium tonight, with England and Croatia keeping an eye on Sunday's final against France.

Croatia defeated the hosts on penalties in the quarter final, while England finished business in full time beating Sweden 2-0 to reach final four.

Both teams are arriving at a World Cup semi-final after decades of waiting, and the stage is set for the first World Cup meeting between the two European football powerhouses.

Unsure of reaching this stage before flying into Russia, both sides have certainly earned their place with valiant performances in the past four weeks.

Croatia believes they can deal with tournament top scorer Harry Kane after stopping Argentine superstar Lionel Messi in the group stages. Zlatko Dalic undoubtedly believes in his team, but the Vatreni have played 240 minutes in six days and exhausted players pose the biggest problem for the Croatia coach. Also, his side has scored nine goals so far, with eight different goal scorers contributing.

For a country with a population of little more than four million, making it all the way to the final would be a remarkable achievement.

With due respect to the opponents, Croatian defender Dejan Lovren says his team has nothing to lose. "We will enjoy this game, and hopefully we can write history."

On the other side, England manager Gareth Southgate is determined to win this match to wipe out "a long time of suffering in terms of football," and at a time "the country going through some difficult moments in terms of its unity." "But sport can unite. Football, especially, can unite", he feels.

England are dreaming of emulating their one and only World Cup winning performance in the 1966 final, but against a team like Croatia, it looks like their toughest test yet in Russia.

England have shown they can adapt to the different styles of play, and this time they'll focus on containing and overcoming Croatia's dangerous midfield, especially the Luka Modric-Ivan Rakitic pair. It might be a tighter, more closed contest than England would like, but their fans are eagerly waiting for a dazzling display from the Three Lions.

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