At the start of the tournament, if somebody told you that one of these teams will play the final, you wouldn’t think twice in saying no. Superstars of both the teams have stepped up when it mattered the most and have led their teams from the front. Modric and Rakitic have been Croatia’s leading men whereas England surprisingly have no major name among their ranks except for Harry Kane, but unlike the England of the old the team has worked together as a unit and have always found a way to get the result. As they fight to go one step closer to glory, let’s take a look at the combined eleven of England and Columbia.
GK: Jordan Pickford
Jordan Pickford has come under extreme criticism from the English media recently, however, he is England’s number one and his performance against Columbia spoke a lot about his character and his capabilities and he did it yet again against Sweden in the Semi-finals, making three top-class saves and keeping a clean sheet. He is proving to be one of the best goalkeepers in the tournament thus far and will play a crucial role if the English are to go all the way.
CB: John Stones
Stones has been England’s best defender this year at the World cup and is probably the best centre back on the show. He scored goals against Panama and was solid at the back, in short everything England needed. The last match he was yet again solid at the back as they kept a clean sheet.
CB: Dejan Lovren
The Croat has been nothing short of top class this World Cup. Since midseason, he has continued to grow in confidence and with stellar performances for Liverpool in the Champions League and the World Cup with Croatia, he has really put a lid on all the criticism that has come his way throughout his career.
Trippier has been probably the best wing back in the competition and had created the most chances until he was rested last time out. He is key to England attacking prowess going down the right flank and will play a key role in their world cup journey as he showed yet again on his return to the team against Columbia and against Sweden on Saturday.
LB: Ashley Young
Ashley Young has done reasonably well for the Three Lions down the left wing and his experience and attacking ability earns him a place in this team.
DM: Jordan Henderson
Apart from being in terrific form for his country, Henderson has also been extremely vocal and put in hard shifts in the centre of the park, pulling the strings for the three lions. On Saturday, he pulled off yet another superb display in the middle of the park and holds an exceptional record of not losing a single game when he plays for the Three Lions and will hope to keep up that record when they face Croatia on Tuesday.
RM: Jesse Lingard
After yet another tireless performance against Columbia, Jesse will be pumped and ready to face Sweden in the quarters. He has been the pioneers of the new look England with his superb passing ability and quick one-touch play. He is an important member of the England squad and will be vital to their World Cup hopes.
He has been Croatia’s best player this world cup and has got them out of numerous tough situations and this is what the best players do that set them apart from the rest. The Croatian captain has led them from the front and will want to lead them to glory in Russia.
LM: Ivan Rakitic
He has been Modric’s partner in crime in the Croatian midfield. He has stepped up when it mattered the most and has even kept cool in situations that have put Modric under pressure. The man yet again scored the winning spot-kick that has taken his team to the Semi-finals of the World cup.
ST: Raheem Sterling
Sterling hasn’t looked at his best in Russia as of yet but there is no question of his abilities after he had a stellar season with English champions Manchester City. His pace and skills can threaten any defence in the world and Columbia will have to be wary because if he finds his feet early in the game, they will really need to rally hard to keep him at bay.
ST: Harry Kane
Was it even in doubt? The man needs no introduction. The best striker in the world in my opinion and England’s hope. Harry Kane is already leading the race for the golden boot playing one game less than the rest. He scored a hattrick in their 6 – 1 drubbing of Panama and a brace in their 2 – 1 win over Tunisia and adding another against Columbia in the quarterfinals. He didn’t turn up with a goal against Sweden on Saturday but the English team are centered around his goal-scoring prowess and will look to their captain to lead them from the front and take them all the way.