Gazza's message for Southgate and his England squad

Gazza's message for Southgate and his England squad

Yet it is England's creative, dynamic and intelligent midfield that will need to be on the top of its game against Croatia. Will it be France; Belgium; England or Croatia?

Les Bleus have as many as 15 players with African roots in their 23-man squad for the tournament in Russian Federation, and Didier Deschamps' side had at least five players who would have been eligible to represent African nations by birth or via their parents in each of their starting line-ups at this year's World Cup.

Read on for a closer look at the two semi-finals, as well as a projected matchup for the final. We should be grateful of the side of the draw we're on and grateful for the spirit and performances they're putting in.

So get your kippers and slippers prepped, do your morning (or evening) calisthenics now, and for heaven sakes ring Mum, otherwise you just know she'll ring you during the match.

France has made it to the semi-finals in half of their last six World Cup appearances.


Vrsaljko will now sit out of the semifinal against England on Wednesday, according to Marca, which will be a huge blow for Croatia following his solid defensive displays in the right back slot over the course of the tournament. It is also down to the manager to prepare the team by giving them instructions not to let their heads drop, not to panic, but focus on responding.

Not many expected Spain to fail to make the final four of the World Cup and even fewer anticipated Brazil crashing out at the quarter-final stage but Gary Neville gets paid the big bucks for a reason.

A World Cup champion will be crowned on Sunday.

These were: Russian Federation would beat Saudi Arabia; France would beat Australia; England would beat Tunisia; Brazil and Switzerland to draw and Iran to beat Morocco (their first win at a world cup finals since 1998). You can't tell me their name isn't already on the trophy after this, and the incredible inflatable unicorns swimming race we saw the day after the last-gasp win over Tunisia to kick off this fairytale run. The Three Lions opened up as 7/5 favourites to beat Croatia in normal time but those odds have shrunk to 11/8 after a patriotic plunge by punters.

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