Gareth Southgate has ‘racehorse trainer’s eye’ for England injuries

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England's group-stage progress was followed by a shoot-out triumph over Colombia and a surprisingly comfortable quarter-final win against Sweden, propelling the country to a first World Cup semi-final since 1990.

After a dramatic win on penalties against Russia, Croatia will play England on Wednesday night (AEST) in front of 80,000 people in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium for a place in the World Cup final.

"Croatia look a very good team, (they have) very good players in (Luka) Modric and (Ivan) Rakitic, they look a risky side".

And if they do go all the way, I'm sure you'll all agree that it's only right that as a nation we have a day of celebration (and possibly a day to recover from the hangover) on the Monday.

"So we have shown character, we've shown belief and I think that's what is going to get us over the line in this game".

"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. As I say, you have those games, but thankfully the team was resilient and defended well.

"We've no reason to believe they're serious issues".

How England and Croatia booked World Cup semi-final meeting
Southgate said it vindicated his decision to play a weakened team in the final group game against Belgium. Mr Hurley continued: "We're all really looking forward to cheering on Harry Kane and the boys".


"But now, I pray and I would give anything in the world that this squad eventually "confines us to history".

He said: 'It's emotional because he ( his father) has made a lot of sacrifices when I was younger, for me and my brother, who was a professional footballer.

"No-one wants to go home".

As if there wasn't already enough riding on tomorrow's World Cup quarter-final, David Beckham and Zlatan Ibrahimovic just upped the stakes even more.

"(We hoped we would have) a long month together, which we have done.

"Social media and everything else, the global thing is so much bigger".

West Ham United must regret not forcing through a deal for Harry Maguire while they had a chance, with the centre-back shining for England at the World Cup. "We have seen the reaction to the squad and it has been unbelievable and we hopefully have many more great memories to come".

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