England's players celebrate team's 0-2 victory at the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Sweden and England at the Samara Arena, in Samara, Russia, July 7, 2018

'It's Coming Home': England Expects But Modric and Croatia Stand In Way of Glory

© Sputnik / Ramil Sitdikov
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England take on Croatia in Moscow on Wednesday, with the winner facing France in the World Cup final. Sputnik looks at what is happening on social media and discovers England fans are either bullish and over-confident or nervous as hell.

England were last at this stage in 1990, when they lost to West Germany on penalties in that famous game when midfielder Paul Gascoigne was left in tears after being booked.

"We can feel the energy and the support from home and it's a very special feeling and a privilege for us," England manager Gareth Southgate said on Tuesday, July 10.

Gary Lineker — nowadays a TV anchor with the BBC — scored England's only goal that night, forcing the game in Turin into extra time and he posted a picture on Instagram in a bid to inspire England goal machine Harry Kane.

Croatia Last Got This Far In 1998

Croatia, who beat Russia on Saturday, lost to the hosts France in the 1998 semi-finals.

Croatia defender Domagoj Vida was caught on camera shouting "Glory to Ukraine!", a famous slogan of the Ukranian far-right militants.

Another video has since emerged of Vida shouting "Burn, Belgrade, Burn".

Vida is likely to be booed by Russians in the crowd at the Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday, July 11, and England may benefit from their support.

How Do England Stop Modric?

Many England fans on social media are focusing on Luka Modric, Croatia's playmaker, who joined Real Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur in 2012 for £30 million (US$39.7 million).

The winner of Wednesday's match will take on France, who defeated Belgium 1-0 on Tuesday, July 10.

France coach Didier Deschamps said he was determined the erase the memory of the Euro 2016 final, which his side lost on home soil to Portugal.

That feeling of scoring in a World Cup semifinal. Come On England.

A post shared by Gary Lineker (@garylineker) on Jul 11, 2018 at 1:52am PDT

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

Southgate Talking Long-Term

Southgate appeared to be damping down expectations when he spoke in an interview of the future of the England team, who have the youngest average age in the tournament.

"We're going into a semi-final but it just seems like it's the next step on the journey," he said.

"This team is nowhere near the level they're going to be capable of, partly because of their age and partly because over the next few years, with us and with their clubs, they're going to have more and more big-match experiences. So we're excited about the future but we also want to make the most of the opportunity we have," Southgate said.

Meeting president Michael D Higgins at his official residence in Dublin, Harry was asked if football was coming home. Laughing, he replied: “Most definitely.” #ENGCRO pic.twitter.com/6rlkkozLlR


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