Croatia have not used the easy path to get to the semi-finals. They were forced to battle through on penalties twice in their wins in the knockout round. Denmark took them all the way after both sides cancelled each other out, but Ivan Rakitic held his composure from 12 yards to send his team through to the quarter-finals. Russia proved to be just as stubborn in the last eight as the contest swung one way then the other. However, Rakitic again was the decisive factor to send his team through to the semis with his spot-kick.
England have reached the semi-finals for the first time since 1990. Their path in the knockout stage was almost as tricky as Croatia’s, needing penalties to see off Colombia. Yerry Mina’s late goal sent the contest all the way to spot-kicks, but for once the Three Lions prevailed as Eric Dier converted. Their win saw Gareth Southgate’s men faced with Sweden in the quarter-finals, although on this occasion England managed to pull off a routine 2-0 triumph thanks to goals from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli.
This is the eighth meeting between England and Croatia, with England winning four of those games, with one draw and two Croatia wins; six of the previous seven games have also been played on a Wednesday.
Croatia (4-1-4-1): Danijel Subasic; Sime Vrsaljko, Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida, Ivan Strinic; Marcelo Brozovic; Ante Rebic, Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Ivan Perisic; Mario Mandzukic.
Croatia Subs: Dominik Livakovic, Vedran Corluka, Mateo Kovacic, Andrej Kramaric, Lovre Kalinic, Tin Jedvaj, Filip Bradaric, Duje Caleta-Car, Milan Badelj, Marko Pjaca, Josip Pivaric.
England (3-4-1-2): Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire; Jordan Henderson; Kieran Trippier, Jesse Lingard, Dele Alli, Ashley Young; Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane.
England Subs: Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Jamie Vardy, Jack Butland, Danny Welbeck, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Fabian Delph, Marcus Rashford, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Nick Pope.
Stream England vs. Croatia match highlights and goals in HD/MP4 below.