Gareth Southgate says England face toughest World Cup test against Croatia

World Cup 2018: England must be aggressive if they are to dominate Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic

Croatia have yet to lose at this summer's World Cup, having blitzed through the group stage with wins over Nigeria, Argentina and Iceland, before edging past Denmark and Russian Federation on penalties.

"Let me tell you, whether we win or lose the game, my life will not change", he said.

English fans will spend the hours leading up to the match nervously waiting to see if "it" will indeed be coming home for the first time since 1966-when the squad won the World Cup in England.

"Of course, it's not the same if you play two 90-minute matches and two 120-minute matches, but I still believe we have had ample time to recover and we are professional enough to know who needs what with what kind of recovery. We know what's at stake and at such moments you forget fatigue you may feel because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity - it may never repeat itself again".

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"This generation has been underrated for a long time but they have shown their qualities when it matters and they will go down in history as a great generation that has come close to the "bronze Vatreni" of 1998".

"England are one of the favourites to win the World Cup and you have to respect that", he said. "Probably nobody would go to work!"

Liverpool defender Lovren was run ragged by Kane when Tottenham thrashed Liverpool 4-1 at Wembley Stadium in October, with Kane turning him twice to score and then set up Son Heung-min before Lovren was substituted after just 31 minutes. "That 4-1 defeat is completely irrelevant", he said. He's been showing season in, season out that he's one of the best strikers in the Premier League.

Dalic refused to confirm whether right-back Sime Vrsaljko would miss the game after the Atletico Madrid player came off in extra-time against Russian Federation. "We need all the players but those on the pitch must be fully fit".

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