Sunday, 22 July, 2018

World Cup semi-final England v Croatia

Gareth Southgate and Jordan Henderson England manager Gareth Southgate left and Jordan Henderson during a walkabout at the Luzhniki Stadium Moscow
Shannon Reynolds | 11 July, 2018, 19:42

It became an instant hit and was belted out in pubs, night clubs, on the streets and in football stadiums throughout the tournament as an England team featuring centre back Southgate reached the semi-finals.

Gareth Southgate's England side stand on the brink of history in Russian Federation, a game away from their first World Cup final since 1966.

However, ahead of England v Croatia tonight, I can't disagree this time.

Warnings to England fans and players had ranged from the supposed threat lurking from masses of hooligans, to players being seduced by Kremlin-backed 'honey traps'.

England manager Gareth Southgate says he knew that the negative press about Russian Federation leading up to this summer's World Cup would not turn out to be true.

Stan Chattersley, who has lived in Bournemouth for 15 years, admitted he would not be supporting England.

Timberlake showing England-Croatia before London show
A victory against England could set the stage for a rematch in the final as Les Blues face Belgium for the other spot in the tournament decider.

England fans' hilarious memes moaning about work before semi-final
Tintin and Asterix have always been rivals in the world of the comic strips for both are popular for their entertainment and art. Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris made another excellent save to help his team to victory and he called reaching the final "crazy".

'Scapegoat' Ozil should quit German team, says father
Ozil and his German team mate Ilkay Gundogan, both of whom are of Turkish descent, were already under pressure coming into the tournament.

He said: "I think Croatia have a better side". If I'm honest, I don't think there are many England players who would get into this Croatian team.

Both of his goals came from set-plays, and given he is averaging 0.29 xG per 90 minutes, he can be expected to get at least one chance in this game.

"I'm not normally a lover of the World Cup, because it's at the end of the season, with too many teams in the group stage". I felt something unusual in my knee and after talking with the doctor on the sideline we decided I should come off.

England are Croatia's opponents in the final four of the tournament as they bid to reach their first final.

"But we had to finalise the book well before the squads were going to be announced and that's when Gareth started getting a little wary because, even though he was pretty much nailed on to make the squad, he didn't want to be seen as being a little overconfident if it came out he was doing the book".

"I'm excited to see if Croatian fans are as excited as we are".

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