Will Tottenham's forgotten midfield hero Winks finally be missed v Croatia?

Croatia

Football fans in and around the Fylde coast and Preston are starting to believe England can win the World Cup after Gareth Southgate's men beat Sweden to reach the tournament's semi-finals. Both teams scored once in extra time but Russia made a costly mistake in the penalty shootout to open the door for Croatia to break the hearts of the Russians. "We were together. You were the 12th, 13th, 15th and 16th player", he said and promised that the team would demonstrate better results at the next World Cup in Qatar, although it would be hard without such support. "It will be a battle again, but I trust us and I have belief in us". Previously, it had forecast that England would lose the Croatia game.

After automatically qualifying as host country and entering the tournament as the lowest-ranked side, Russian Federation reached the World Cup knockout stage for the first time in post-Soviet history after victories against Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

After a lively opening, the game dropped off, with sessions of head tennis in midfield, but it was Russia's more rustic approach which paid off first as they went ahead out of the blue. That year the Soviets finished in fourth place at the 1966 World Cup.

But moments later, there was applause.

"They fought. It was a real playoff match against not the weakest team in the world".

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"I had them and the guys did".

"We will have to improve on our set-piece defending between now and Wednesday". "But the World Cup is an ideal time to make a difference and prove that we too cannot leave behind a mountain of garbage", Sports.ru suggested.

"He watched, he was rooting for the team".

Four-time Russian champions Zenit Saint Petersburg was the last Russian club to win Europe's second-tier club competition, the Uefa Europa League, in 2008, and the team went on to win Uefa Super Cup the same year, while CSKA Moscow also won Uefa Europa League in 2005.

Lindsay Robinson, 66, of Foxwood Chase, Westby, said: "Can we win it?"

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England face Croatia in their semi-final match on Wednesday after they overcame Russian Federation on penalties. I don't think this was my best performance on the pitch.


"This was a good game, and a lovely one".

The first to speak to the fans was the team's chief coach Stanislav Cherchesov who thanked all those who had supported the team.

"Russia has shown the world what kind of championship we can have - the best in the world", said another fan.

The match began when Croatian fans started to re-enact their own version of Iceland's "Viking thunder-clap" - you know, the one where they all clap really slowly and chant in flawless unison.

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"I am concentrating on doing well every day in training and hoping that first team opportunities will come". Five days after the final, Loris had 26 of 30 markers for a concussion still.


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