Southgate: Croatia toughest challenge in Russia

England manager Gareth Southgate expects Wednesday’s semi-final clash with Croatia to be the most challenging his side have faced at the World Cup in Russia.

The two countries will square-up in Moscow for the right to play France in the final of the 2018 World Cup.

The Three Lions finished their group phase in second place behind Belgium before registering victories over Colombia and Sweden to reach the semi-finals of the tournament.

Southgate admitted that his side will have to dig deep to continue their impressive run in Russia and get the better of the star studded Croatian side in their semi-final clash.

Southgate told a press conference: “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.

“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.”