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Friends and foes

Posted on 9 September 2009  - 12:00

Luka Modric knows the biggest danger to Croatia's World Cup hopes could come from close to home.

Friends and foes

Luka Modric knows the biggest danger to Croatia's World Cup hopes could come from close to home.

The midfielder has to sit out through injury as England take on the Croats in a massive qualifying match at Wembley in Group Four tonight.

Realistically, Croatia have to win to maintain their hopes of finishing second in the group while victory for England will see Fabio Capello's men on the plane to South Africa for next summer's finals.

Six Spurs players could have been on show, but Vedran Corluka joins Luka on the sidelines after picking up a suspension following his sending off against Belarus on Saturday and that leaves our new arrival Niko Kranjcar in the Croatian ranks while Jermain Defoe, Aaron Lennon and Peter Crouch are all in the England squad.

"Jermain is on fire, Crouchy's there, Aaron Lennon as well - there is a lot of danger from the Spurs team!" smiled Luka, who has started his injury rehabilitation at Spurs Lodge.

"It will be tough but I believe in our strength and our quality and I believe Croatia can produce a good result."

Luka feels England are a completely different prospect to the side that he famously helped Croatia beat and therefore dump out of the Euro 2008 qualifiers at Wembley back in November, 2007.

He also believes his Croatian team has come on since losing 4-1 to England at the start of this World Cup qualifying process when the teams met again in Zagreb a year ago.

"Yes, I think England are better now," he said. "They have more confidence, a new coach - one of the best in the world - and he's given them confidence. They've won every game in our group.

"But we are also better than when we played at the start of the group, we have more experience and it will be interesting from both sides.

"We like to play on the big stage against the big nations like England at a great stadium like Wembley. That will lift us.

"Like I said, I believe in our squad and I believe we can produce a good result."