England takes on Croatia on Wednesday in the second World Cup semifinal, with the winner advancing to Sunday’s big game against France .
Both teams have fought their way valiantly to this point, even getting through penalty shootouts to advance. After winning Group D, Croatia beat Denmark and Russia in penalty kicks to get to this point, while England knocked out Colombia in the round of 16 in penalties before taking down Sweden in the quarterfinals.
The teams aren’t facing any major injuries to stars, but a few that would make an impact. Sime Vrsaljko is out with an injury, while goalkeeper Danijel Subasic and defender Dejan Lovren missed training earlier in the week but should play. England, meanwhile, is expected to have Jordan Henderson healthy.
On top of the injuries, there is some pressure. England has been craving a top title since it won the World Cup in 1966 and has a tremendous, unforeseen opportunity ahead, with the weight of its country on its shoulders. Croatia, meanwhile, is dealing with issues surrounding defender Domagoj Vida .
One thing to keep an eye on in this match is the legs and how tired the players will be, especially with Croatia. With 60 minutes of extra time and two penalty-kick shootouts, it’s as if Croatia has played an entire extra match. England went to extra time and penalties in its first knockout stage match but not in its second and should be a bit more fresh.