World Cup semi-final England v Croatia

Annette Crawford
July 11, 2018

"We've gone from Baddiel and Skinner and Three Lions right through to Gareth Southgate and, here we are 20 years later, right back to square one again".

A 2-0 victory over Malta in October, 2016 got Southgate's reign as Sam Allardyce's successor off to the ideal start and he's since managed to guide the Three Lions to a World Cup semi-final.

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

The 2018 side are guaranteed to join that pantheon whatever the result of Wednesday's semi-final against Croatia in Moscow, though, and Southgate said there were some similarities.

For decades, England managers have been plagued by the dilemma of fitting in the star English players into a single tactical system and still function at an optimal level.

"Our players did a great job".

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

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.

"Croatia, I think, will stay in a lower block and will try to find solutions on the counter-attack because they have very fast players with [Andrej] Kramaric, [Ante] Rebic and also [Mario] Mandzukic, who is a fighter, and also maybe with the individual brilliance from Modric and Rakitic".

Another football fan flying to Croatia to watch the game is James Stephenson, from Winton.

The song was released before Euro '96, when Southgate missed England's crucial penalty as they lost a semi-final shootout to Germany at Wembley.

'We were at home and I went to get changed and I thought, "Hmm, shall I wear those socks?"

"I'm excited to see if Croatian fans are as excited as we are". They'll have to be hugely proud of the team and they must think that they can beat us. I am ignoring the meaningless match against Belgium.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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