Lovren relishing rerun of World Cup semi-final with England

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The crucial Nations League decider at Wembley is the third meeting between the nations in the space of five months

Dejan Lovren is anticipating a fiery contest between Croatia and England in their Nations League clash on Sunday.

The Liverpool defender, 29, was part of Croatia's squad throughout their remarkable run to the World Cup final, as they eliminated England in the semi-finals in Russia.

Both teams know a win at Wembley will see them top League A's Group Four and advance to the finals of the new competition, and Lovren is relishing the prospect of coming up against the Three Lions in another high-stakes encounter.

"It's a final against England, so of course we will be strong," he was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror. 

"I think it will be a fiery game against them – they know us and what they can expect from us, and we will not run away from that.

"I love playing against England. I know the players in the Premier League and I have competed against them."

Both sides met earlier in the Nations League as they played out a goalless draw behind closed doors last month in Rijeka, and Lovren feels recent history will give Croatia plenty of belief.

"People criticise me, but they didn't say much when England didn't score against us in the last game," he said.

"They will have extra motivation after the World Cup, but I think we will be brave.

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"It will not be a friendly. We have beaten Spain and we want to win it now."

Spain can still top the group, despite their last-gasp 3-2 defeat to Croatia on Thursday.

A goalless draw between the sides would see Croatia relegated, while any score draw will see England drop out of League A.

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