Croatia will do well to beat the winners of the Belgium semi-final

From Brendan:

Since the group stages I’ve tipped Belgium and Croatia to go all the way.

Small issue now is that Croatia are facing England.

I agree, I think that tactically England could do a job on Croatia, as they have done very cleverly in most games in the tournament so far.

For me, it’s really 50/50. If the two boys Luca and Ivan feel like it, though, they could set the thing on fire and give the little Balkan nation something that they will remember for decades and generations to come.

Me and my younger boy have often discussed how brilliant a team from the former Yugoslav nations would be.

Oblak (Slovenia) in goal, Ivanovic and Kolarov in defence, Modric and Rakitic with Matic behind them, Jovetic and Dzeko in attack..

What a team that would be. Croatia don’t have that brilliance all over the pitch but they pass very well and have an effective shape, with three or even four very high up forcing the rest of the team forward, and with the brilliant duo in midfield to link the play.

To beat them, England has to make sure they can do that, but England can’t let it just be about negating Modric and Rakitic, they need to impose their own style of play on Croatia at the same time. In previous World Cups I’d be very pessimistic but I really think Southgate and his team are good at tactics.

I still couldn’t pick a winner.

Having said that, I think the ultimate winner will be the winner of the other semi-final.

Myles says:

Thanks, Brendan.

You’re reminding me of England v Yugoslavia when I asked Bobby Robson,”Can we learn anything from their goal?”