Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Lovren ready for Kane test at World Cup

Lovren ready for Kane test at World Cup

Fears of violence and racism ahead of the World Cup, bolstered by memories of clashes between England and Russian Federation fans Marseille during the European Championship in France in 2016, may have put supporters off travel to Russian Federation for the tournament.

Although Croatia are the most hard opponents England will have faced in the tournament, Southgate's words suggest he will continue with his attacking formation and personnel.

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"I am perfectly ready and fit and I can say the same for my teammates".

Against a tired Croatian side that has been pushed to penalties in their past two games, England have a clear advantage and will look to Kane to make the most of it.

Croatia's squad has an average age of 27.9 while England, along with France, are the second youngest squad at the World Cup behind Nigeria at 26. "It's something very big for us", said Croatia fan Neman, arriving at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport.

Lovren has featured in all five of Croatia's World Cup games so far and played the entirely of the team's two knockout fixtures with Denmark and Russian Federation that went to a penalty shootout after 120 minutes of play.

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Midfielder Ivan Rakitic thinks the spirit that carried the team through those tense knockout matches will stand it in good stead against England, which is hoping to beat two European nations at a World Cup for the first time since 1982. Each side has won two of the four meetings since then, which includes England's infamous 3-2 defeat at in November 2007, which saw it miss out on a Euro 2008 spot and led to the departure of boss Steve McClaren.

"We can't concentrate too much on them, we have to concentrate on ourselves and that's exactly what we will be doing going into the game".

"But we enjoy to play against big teams, as we showed against Argentina, and have nothing to lose".

"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". I felt something unusual in my knee and after talking with the doctor on the sideline we decided I should come off.

"It's completely irrelevant, " he said through a translator.

Lovren continued: "I have all respect for Harry Kane".

"Why didn't you ask me how I played well against him in other games? You are just nitpicking at my poor performances".

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