Croatia injury problems ahead of England semi

Croatia are expected to make a defensive change for their World Cup semi-final against England in Moscow on Wednesday.

Sime Vrsaljko is unlikely to recover from an injury sustained in Saturday's quarter-final shootout success over Russia with Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic working on plans that don't involve the Atletico Madrid right-back.

The most likely replacement is Vedran Corluka. The former Tottenham man would partner Dejan Lovren in the heart of the defence with regular centre-back Domagoj Vida switching to right-back.

If Dalic decides against splitting up his centre-back partnership it is possible Bayer Leverkusen's 22-year-old Tin Jedvaj could replace the unfortunate Vrsaljko in a move which would require less disruption, but Corluka's experience could get him the nod.

One of Croatia's coaching assistants, Ognjen Vukojevic, has been sacked before the semi-final after appearing in a controversial "glory to Ukraine" video alongside Vida which was posted on Facebook.

There was better news on the injury front as far as England are concerned with Gareth Southgate able to use all 23 members of his squad following the return to full fitness of Jordan Henderson and Jamie Vardy.

England remain 11-8 favourites to win the game in 90 minutes but there has been support for the draw which is 21-10 from 11-5.

Match in Focus

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Man Utd v Juventus

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  • United have lost only three of their last 22 European matches
Expert verdict
The return of Cristiano Ronaldo to Old Trafford will grab all of the headlines but Manchester United should be able to hold their own against Juventus. Confidence will have been restored by the manner of the performance in the 2-2 draw at Chelsea and United remain a tough nut to crack in European home encounters.

 

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