Russian Federation 2018: Croatia Fear England’s Sterling In Semi-Final

Mae Harvey
July 11, 2018

France and Belgium are seen as the strongest teams left in the competition, which means the victor of Tuesday's match will head into the final as favourites to be crowned world champions.

Of the four countries left, all are European, with England, Belgium and Croatia represented by right-wing governments, and France by a centrist one.

Another Moscow-bound fan said: "The lack of fans in the earlier games was as a result of the crowd trouble at Euro 2016, but the World Cup has shown what Russian Federation really is like".

"Our last three games were different because we played teams with a defensive approach", he said.

But Russia 2018 has been a relatively foul-light competition, with no player as yet sent off for violent foul play. England manager Gareth Southgate and a player will later attend the pre-match press conference ahead of the World Cup semi-final at Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow from 1530BST.

The two teams will play in Moscow to decide who makes the final on Sunday.

"I remember people saying he's going to be a one-hit wonder and he's just completely proven them wrong and blown it out the water".

The Golden Boot is is the name of the award presented to the player who scores the most goals in the World Cup.

In Belgium, the likes of Jean-Marie Pfaff, Jan Ceulemans, Franky Vercauteren, Enzo Scifo and Eric Gerets bring back memories of the Red Devils' one and only last four appearance, in Mexico 1986.

Paul Gascoigne's yellow card in the semi-final of Italia 90 is the most famous booking in history. Croatia's most memorable victory over the Three Lions was the 3-2 win in 2009 at Wembley when Niko Kranjcar, Ivica Olic and Mladen Petric scored to knock England out of qualifying for Euro 2008.

England went out on penalties that night in Turin and Gazza's tears became an iconic moment in English football.

England have reached the semi-finals for the first time since 1990. Hazard's breakneck speed on the counter-attack was a useful asset as Belgium looked to close out the tie against Brazil, the 27-year-olds pace could be needed if Belgium takes the lead in the semi-final.

With four games left in the tournament, Federation Internationale de Football Association named Russia the best defending team with 259 clearances, tackles and saves in its five matches.

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