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#WorldCup Day 28: What to look out for

The second semifinal takes place on Wednesday between England and Croatia. Both teams are vying for a spot in the final to take on France, who beat Belgium 1-0 on Tuesday night.

England captain Harry Kane celebrates his goal during the World Cup match against Tunisia on 18 June 2018. Picture: @England/Twitter

The second semifinal takes place on Wednesday between England and Croatia. Both teams are vying for a spot in the final to take on France, who beat Belgium 1-0 on Tuesday night.

Feature Match: England v Croatia

England Key Players:

Harry Kane (Striker)
The Tottenham Hotspur striker has been composed in front of goal throughout the tournament so far. Having scored from the spot a number of times so far, should the game go to penalties, coach Gareth Southgate will feel confident in the abilities of his number 9. Kane’s cool demeanour on the field has allowed the likes of Raheem Sterling and Jesse Lingard to make forward runs as Kane tends to drop into midfield at time. Croatia's Dejan Lovren will have his hands full.

Harry Maguire (Defender)
The 25-year-old has been solid in defence this World Cup, using his strength to shield the ball into touch but more importantly, also makes a nuisance of himself in the opposition box during corners and free-kicks. His powerful header opened the scoring against Sweden in the quarter-finals. England’s tactics from set-pieces have been a masterclass – using their tall players to great effect. It seems that Domagoj Vida and Lovren will be in for a busy night.

Croatia Key Players:

Luka Modric (Midfielder)
Luka Modric is arguably the best midfielder in the tournament. The Real Madrid star has averaged more than 70 passes per game, maintaining his composure throughout. Similar to Harry Kane, Modric has a calm demeanour and resonates with fans and players alike. His penalty-taking skills could do with some polishing though. His penalties so far have been far from convincing, with one being saved by Danish goalkeeper Cassper Schmeichel in the knockout stages.

Ivan Rakitic (Midfielder)
Having made 97 appearances for Croatia so far, the Barcelona midfielder goes into the game against England with more than enough experience. This will go a long way against an English midfield made up of Jesse Lingard, Jordan Henderson and Dele Alli. Between the three, they have a combined caps tally of 87.

Croatia go into the game with more than enough experience in midfield, however, they will be up against a younger side which has had more rest. Croatia's last two games went into extra time, which will surely play a factor in fatigue over the period of the game.

Ahmed’s Prediction: England 2-2 Croatia (England win on penalties)

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