【第今期开什么马_今期开什特马今】Four key battles in Croatia
By Michael Place
MOSCOW, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Wednesday's World Cup semifinal between Croatia and England has several intriguing subplots that provide an extra edge to an already tantalizing clash. Here are four personal duels to keep an eye on.
Dejan Lovren vs. Harry Kane
Last October, Lovren endured one of his most harrowing experiences in a Liverpool shirt when a Harry Kane-inspired Tottenham routed the Reds 4-1 at Wembley. Lovren was taken off with just 31 minutes gone after struggling to contain the England striker, who had already struck one goal and set up another. Now the Croatia center-back is eager to make amends.
"He deserves every credit he gets," Lovren told reporters here on Monday. "The last few seasons he has always scored more than 25 goals. He is one of the best strikers in the world but I like to challenge these strikers and to show to everyone that I am one of the best defenders."
Luka Modric vs. Jordan Henderson
Less than two months ago, Modric and Henderson were on opposing sides in the Champions League final. Modric gained the upper hand on that occasion, helping Real Madrid to a 3-1 victory over Henderson's Liverpool in Kiev. They will face each other in another high-stakes battle at Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday as protagonists for their respective national teams.
Henderson has been key to England's success in Russia so far with his calm and precise distribution as well as a willingness to protect the back three. His positional discipline will be vital to England's hopes of stymying the playmaking brilliance of Modric, who has arguably been the player of the tournament.
Ivan Strinic vs. Kieran Trippier
Strinic has been one of Croatia's most consistent performers during the World Cup on the left side of Zlatko Dalic's back four. His chief task on Wednesday will be to limit the space afforded to the likes of Raheem Sterling, Jesse Lingard and Kieran Trippier, who have opened up rival defences in Russia with their clever runs and interplay.
Croatia will be especially wary not to give Trippier too much leeway to fire in dangerous crosses from the right flank.
Danijel Subasic vs. Jordan Pickford
While they will be at opposite ends of the pitch, Subasic and Pickford are set to play equally decisive roles as goalkeepers of their respective teams, especially if the match goes to a penalty shootout. Without them, it is unlikely that either side would have progressed to this stage of the tournament.
Subasic has been the hero in Croatia's successive shootout victories over Denmark and Russia in their past two matches. Pickford, meanwhile, has barely put a foot wrong throughout England's campaign and has made a series of fine saves, including a spectacular one-handed effort that denied Colombia's Mateus Uribe in the round of 16.