Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Sports | By Juana Wells

England midfielder Dele Alli believes he 'can play better' against Croatia

England midfielder Dele Alli believes he 'can play better' against Croatia

England will face their toughest test of the World Cup so far when they take on a Croatia side who are defensively solid, hard-working across the pitch and have some of Europe's finest midfield talent.

England seemed to have created a relaxed yet competitive atmosphere at their training base in Repino, and the darts and bowling competitions have continued as much as their on-field progression. He wouldn't give it to me.

"I think we can beat Croatia, get in the final and anything can happen".

Alli isn't the first player to bust out a Fortnite dance during the World Cup - France's Antoine Griezmann and Alli's England teammate Jesse Lingard have also inflicted similar emotes on millions watching all over the world.

"I took it off for the first game - this is a bit of a silly superstition - but the first game here was the first game in ages I haven't had it on, and I got injured, so I'm going to be keeping it on again". He wasn't nasty, he was really nice.

"It's quite odd for me to witness all the hype and the crowds and how excited they are because that's what it must have been (like) in Italia 90 when we got to the semis", he explained. "I always enjoy a good nutmeg". I didn't shout "megs". "I'm not going to focus on that, though!"

The moment was indicative of the warm welcome England have received in Russian Federation at their training base near St. Petersburg as well as in the four host cities they've played in so far.

"You know, we have always shown we can do well against the big nations", said Bilic.

He also overcame missing a penalty in extra-time against Denmark, stepping up bravely minutes later to convert in a shoot-out.

Dier could be tasked with stopping the pair should Jordan Henderson fail to recover from a hamstring injury, and he knows he will have to be at his very best if called upon.

Davor Suker, president of the Croatian Football Federation and a key part of the Croatia team that reached the 1998 semi-finals, played down suggestions the team were too dependent on Modric but insisted the player can easily handle the weight of responsibility.

You may well have switched on your TV set at the weekend expecting an exciting game of footy between England and Sweden - which indeed it was.

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