World Cup 2010 Qualifier: England vs. Croatia

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England will enter tonight’s match with Croatia knowing that a victory will send them on their way to South Africa next summer.

The Three Lions have won all seven group games so far but also have a score to settle with their challengers. Defeat by Vatreni two years ago at home cost England a place at Euro 2008 and saw manager Steve McClaren fired.

Fabio Capello’s side has three finals to play. Tonight will be the first. After against Ukraine and then last at home against Belarus. The Englishmen have to win one of these three finals or they have to draw some of these games in order to qualify for next year’s World Cup.

Croatia will be without Ivan Juric this evening after he was ruled out with a ligament injury. The Genoa midfielder joins Luka Modric, Stipe Pletikosa and suspended defender Vedran Corluka on the sidelines.

This match kicks-off at 9:00 p.m. CET (3:00 p.m. ET).

UPDATE: England outplayed Croatia 5-1 to qualify for the 2010 World Cup. Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard both scored twice and Wayne Rooney added another goal.