Croatia will play on counter and rely on Modric, Rakitic – Tapalovic

Former Croatia international Filip Tapalovic feels a counter-attacking approach could work against England in the World Cup semifinals.

Croatia's Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric   -  Getty Images

Croatia may be best suited to counter-attacking and relying on the brilliance of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic against England, according to former international Filip Tapalovic.

Zlatko Dalic's side goes into Wednesday's World Cup semifinal knowing it has to improve after battling through two penalty shoot-outs in the knockout stages in Russia.

England, meanwhile, was tested by Colombia before comfortably dispatching of Sweden in the quarterfinals.

With Modric and Rakitic controlling the midfield, Croatia has had more possession than its opposition in four of five games at the World Cup.

But Tapalovic, who made three appearances for Croatia, believes it is more likely to try to counter against England.

"I like the style of England, how they play with the young players, how they move," he told Omnisport.

"Croatia play maybe a little bit slowly… they have good players but it's another style of play. They've scored two goals in every game [except against Denmark in the round of 16].

"England are very strong, they have very good individual players.

"Croatia, I think, will stay in a lower block and will try to find solutions on the counter-attack because they have very fast players with [Andrej] Kramaric, [Ante] Rebic and also [Mario] Mandzukic, who is a fighter, and also maybe with the individual brilliance from Modric and Rakitic.

"I think it will be a hard game for Croatia."

The winner of the encounter will face either France or Belgium in the World Cup final.

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