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Captain Modric dreaming of Croatia’s fairytale finish in Russian Federation

07 July 2018

"Now we are in the quarterfinals of the World Cup, which is a big success for us", he said.

On Thursday, 5 July, the right back suffered a sprain ligament injury in his left ankle during a training session in Kazan.

Sweden, devoid of a freescoring talisman in the wake of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's worldwide retirement, have worked hard on being difficult to breakdown and a major threat from set-pieces.

England plays Sweden in the quarterfinals Saturday.

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In the first match at Nizhny Novgorod, France will have to find a way past the tournament's joint-meanest defenders Uruguay. At Italy 1990, Sweden would finish bottom of their group and England would make it to the semifinals.

The Three Lions emerged as the surprising third favorite after defeating Colombia on the penalty shootout in the Round of 16, and they should have an easier job against Sweden in the quarter-finals.

But since then, they have not had a single goal scored against them. Sweden came from behind to win their home leg 2-1, and the other leg was a scoreless draw. At the Euro, held in Belgium and the Netherlands, both teams were eliminated in the Group Stage.

Meanwhile, Neymar set the tone for Brazil to advance to the quarterfinals with a tap-in goal during the 51st minute against Mexico on Monday.

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Croatia was ousted in the group stage in 2002 and 2006, didn't qualify for 2010 in South Africa and was again dumped in the group stage in 2014 - albeit from a very hard group.

On a dramatic night in Moscow's Spartak Stadium, England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford made a key save from Carlos Bacca before Eric Dier's spot-kick gave England their first-ever win on penalties at a World Cup at the fourth attempt - ending the jinx that has dogged them for so long. And there's a lot of support for them here; former England worldwide Paul Mariner says 2-0, one of six predictions in favour of the Three Lions.

This will be their 3rd World Cup meeting, and England will be the favourites to grab the first World Cup win between these countries. Stuani has never been much of a goal scorer for Uruguay, although he is coming off a good season in Spain with Girona.

On Saturday, with their penalty shoot-out hoodoo slain for now, England meet Sweden in Samara before hosts Russian Federation aim to extend their dream run against perennial dark horses Croatia. Even in the round of 16, they somehow managed to win in the penalty shootout and qualified for the quarters.

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"Although our team will be better in two years with more life experience, maybe the cards on injuries and things won't fall as kindly and we won't get this opportunity again", he told ITV News. On the other side of the draw, five-times winners Brazil take on Belgium's so called "Golden Generation", and 1998 champions France face Uruguay, who were crowned twice in the tournament's early history. When we break this down further to look at the shots on target per goal ratio. we see a similar pattern in that teams that qualified through the group phase took on average 2.5 shots on target to score a goal with teams that did not qualify taking 4.0.

Captain Modric dreaming of Croatia’s fairytale finish in Russian Federation