RTÉ soccer analyst Didi Hamann believes that England have the slight edge over Croatia going into their World Cup semi-final.

Croatia side beat hosts Russia 4-3 on penalties following a 2-2 draw in their last-eight match in Sochi.

Ivan Rakitic converted the decisive spot-kick after Mario Fernandes, who had netted an equaliser for Russia with five minutes of extra-time remaining, hit his effort from 12 yards wide.

Denis Cheryshev had put Russia in front in the 31st minute with a superb strike - his fourth goal of the tournament - but that was cancelled out eight minutes later by Andrej Kramaric's header.

It was the second time in the tournament that Croatia needed penalties to win and while Hamann believes that they proved their nerve once again, he questioned their ability to break down England when the two sides met on Wednesday.

Speaking on RTÉ Television, Hamann said: "They’ll be going into the semi-final full of confidence. I still fancy England because I think they’ve been the more impressive or dominant team.

"But they [Croatia] have been behind in both knockout games and then they had the setback of missing a penalty in extra-time against Denmark and still found a way on penalties.

"They just have quality, they don’t show it often enough and they need to step up what they’re doing.

"The question is, is there another gear? If they go behind against England, is there another gear to do the same against England?

"That’s the question they have to answer and I’m not too sure because for all the good play and the energy Modric is showing, Kramic, Rebic and Pivaric have been pretty toothless.

"They found it very, very hard to open up that Russian defence so I think it will be an exciting game.

"They deserve their place and what they’ve got is steel and tactical nous.

"They’re very clever boys, they’re very smart and they needed penalties twice but you’ve got to appreciate their courage and you’ve got to appreciate their belief."