England v Croatia: Ivan Rakitic ruled out of key Nations League fixture

Luis Enrique speaks during a press conference at the Maksimir stadium

After featuring in all the 12 of Barcelona's league matches and 4 of their Champions League games, playing over 1300 minutes after a busy and fidgety summer, Ivan Rakitic has been overworked not just by Valverde, but even by Zlatko Dalic.

Sports Mole looks at how England could line up for their winner-takes-all UEFA Nations League showdown with Croatia at Wembley.

"He will go to Barcelona, it's a serious injury".

The full-time whistle in the semi-final was followed by scenes of delirium as Croatia celebrated reaching their first World Cup final and Rakitic defended his team-mates actions in the immediate aftermath of the victory.

Only a win last night in Zagreb gave Croatia hope of reaching the semi-finals after the earlier loss to Spain and draw against England.

"A lot of people said we wouldn't be able to take another extra-time but we played our best extra-time of the tournament".

Meanwhile, England manager Gareth Southgate said his side had improved since losing to Croatia in the World Cup semifinals.

Barcelona midfielder Sergi Busquets admitted frustration after Spain's 3-2 defeat to Croatia.

"I think we've learned with every experience that we've had", he said. At Barca there are plays that are rehearsed and trained and I could see that England also had those plays very well-worked.

Joe Gomez and Luke Shaw come back into contention on Sunday after missing Thursday's 3-0 friendly win against the United States through injury - a match when Southgate rotated with an eye on this captivating duel. La Furia Roja has finished its group stage games and sits in first with six points, two points clear of England and Croatia. It's a great opportunity for these players to go that next step. That's why there was a little bit of a comedown.

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