England target World Cup final but gifted Croatia stand in the way

Gareth Southgate

Just for once, England are quite likeable and while I am still not convinced they are a very good team, they could be playing in a World Cup final on Sunday. Odds on England to qualify are 8/13, while Croatia are 5/4.

After making history with England's first-ever penalty-shootout win at a World Cup against Colombia, the Three Lions did what many of their predecessors would have failed to do-get through a quarter-final against a team of Sweden's calibre in relative comfort. He previously refereed Iran's 1-0 victory over Morocco and Argentina's thrilling 2-1 win over Nigeria.

Fatigue could be an issue for Croatia as the game wears on, given they have gone to extra time and penalties in both knockout games in Russian Federation, although they also won both shootouts.

After France beat Belgium 1-0 in Saint-Petersburg on Tuesday night to book their place in the World Cup final, the attention now turns to the other semi-final as England take on Croatia.

Asked what he would be demanding from his players, the England coach told ITV: "To be able to keep doing what we have been doing, play with real defensive discipline, good organisation, tactical awareness".

"We will do everything to recover and I'm sure we will find energy for England".

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"Finals have to be won because we have still not got over the one we lost two years ago", he said.

Although there's often outrage in the country when ITV shows a game over the BBC, largely as a result of the ad breaks during halftime, ITV commentators Jon Champion and Ally McCoist have emerged as one of the most popular pairings in a long time.

Fox (live in most markets) and Telemundo are both included in the "Fubo Premier" bundle, which has a channel package that is largely tailored towards worldwide soccer fans and also has World Cup live streams available in 4K. "Like one heart, one soul", Rakitic said.

"They have a lot of quality, they play well, well organised and a physically strong, but we are also aware of our quality". The 2010s are the years of living ironically, however, and a new meme has sprouted out of England's above-average showing at this World Cup.

"I think Raheem has been fundamental to the way that we have played - his movement, the positions he takes up, his pressing of the ball, his work-rate for the team, the winning of free-kicks and corners, his speed to stretch teams".

Croatia dazzled their way through the group stages, but were less impressive in the knockout stages and needed penalty shootouts to knock out Denmark in the round of 16 and Russian Federation in the quarterfinals.

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