Southgate to make ‘as few changes as possible’ for Belgium

England take on Croatia in the World Cup semi-final on Wednesday

England captain Harry Kane did not feature in England's loss to Belgium in the group stages but he will go into the game looking to add to the tournament-leading six goals he has already scored.

@JesseLingard: To see scenes we've witnessed over the past month means everything to us as players and staff.

"He was was totally on board with us not playing him in the first game against Belgium". We will have some extra motivation because of that, for sure.

Both teams are in their second third-place match, Belgium having lost to France in 1986 and England to Italy four years later. "We're here to improve every time we play", he continued.

For many, Croatia will be the underdogs, but as reported by Goal, Perisic told FIFA.com: "France stopped us in the semi-finals in 1998".

"Contextually, this is different in that I feel that team [in 1996] with all its experience, playing at home, were closer to the finished article and knew a lot were not going to have the chance again", Southgate said.

"We want to keep those standards right to the end and the players did that this morning in training".

"There is a culture that exists now that any new player that comes in has to follow".

"Trippier is the obvious one because he's had to come off during the game and (Jordan) Henderson is also feeling his hamstring so we will just have to assess it".

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But despite his desire to begin work on the next tournament, Southgate conceded he may never recover from the nature of his team's exit from this World Cup.

"When I was a player I had a very simplistic mindset".

"Three weeks ago, there wasn't even a connection with the England football team".

The coolest player at the World Cup?

Southgate is well aware of what an opportunity they let slip but is not worrying about whether this summer is as good as it gets.

"I go for the final not only as a politician or president. but as a passionate fan of Croatian football.as someone who played football in childhood", she said. "We represent the whole country", he said. "It's the same as if you're at a big club".

England were left in the lurch after a gut-wrenching 1-2 defeat at the hands of Croatia after extra-time.

Outside the football stadiums, social media was another ground for the "It Is Coming Home" frenzy, as people took to hashtags and viral videos to express their support or "non-support" as the case may be for the Three Lions stride for World Cup glory.

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