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Jul 11, 2018 at 7pm UK at ​Stadion Luzhniki (Moskva)
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Gareth Southgate: 'Croatia toughest test yet for England players'

Southgate: 'Croatia toughest test yet'
© Reuters
Gareth Southgate admits that Croatia "will be the best team" England have faced in this summer's World Cup, with a place in the final up for grabs.

England manager Gareth Southgate has acknowledged that his side face their toughest World Cup test yet when taking on Croatia for a place in the final.

The Three Lions have so far defeated Colombia on penalties after a 1-1 draw and eased to a 2-0 win over Sweden in their two knockout matches.

Southgate's men have also seen off Tunisia and Panama in the group stage, while suffering defeat to Belgium with a second-string side, and the England boss is expecting an increase in quality this evening.

"They'll be the best team we've played in terms of what they're capable of doing with the ball, and what their individuals are capable of, definitely," he told reporters.

"For us as a team, it's another chance to create a small piece of history. We've got to keep getting over those hurdles and I know we talked about the success of the younger teams but this is a much harder, much bigger level for the players and the belief is building as things are happening.

"The more of these tests we can come through, the better, not just for now, but moving forward."

England have met Croatia once before at a major tournament, winning 4-2 in a group-stage match at Euro 2004.


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England manager Gareth Southgate on June 2, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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