Saturday, 21 July, 2018


England fans celebrate World Cup win over Sweden at IKEA

Trent Alexander-Arnold Trent Alexander-Arnold
Noah Ferguson | 10 July, 2018, 13:12

England secured their first semi-final place in the tournament for 28 years after seeing off Sweden 2-0 on Saturday, with only Croatia standing in their way of reaching the final following their dramatic penalty shootout victory against hosts Russian Federation. It's tough for them to change the habit of a lifetime and get behind Gareth Southgate's team in the World Cup.

Southgate's England side will play Croatia in the semi-finals on Wednesday evening, where England captain Harry Kane will be hoping to get on the score sheet as he pursues the coveted Golden Boot award. Gareth Southgate sets the tone very well with the team and in interviews - they don't get too high when it's going well or too low when it isn't.

"We did have a north v south game at The Grove - what I can remember is we had a dodgy ref who was southern in Steve (Holland), which didn't help the northerners", the Sheffield-born defender told Sky News Radio.

Here's everything you need to know about the game.

"It's going to be hard - the semi-final at a World Cup, it's not going to be an easy game - but it's a game we feel we're ready for".

"Just to be a part of it, we're absolutely buzzing". The Three Lions come into the semi-final on the back of their best team performance in this World Cup. I thought we would but we never have.

I want England to have that feeling of staying grounded - until you have hold of the trophy.

Speaking to the Mirror, Southgate said that the team have discussed the 1966 World Cup winning team and what they mean to the country.

"They struggled against Denmark and beat Uruguay, without Cavani, quite unimpressively". If we played this same tournament again in maybe two months, then you might have three or four different semi-finalists.

He said: "As soon as I walk into the pub, people scream".

I know there is a wave of young English players coming through - the under-17s are European champions and the under-20s won their World Cup past year. In my career, whenever I picked up silverware, I expected to win I and I sense the same mindset with England right now.

So it looks like the system is in place to bring more and more players through the pipeline, that can continue this surge. "They've gone to two extra-times, and if you have to go to extra-time against Russian Federation".

Jurgen Klinsmann was speaking to BBC Sport's Chris Bevan in Moscow.

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