England aim to join France in World Cup final

GETTY    
   Paul Gascoigne has urged Gareth Southgate to keep it

GETTY Paul Gascoigne has urged Gareth Southgate to keep it

"The Englishman says, "hey, we are playing Croatia tonight" and the Frenchman replies: "So are we - on Sunday".

They have been taken to penalties in both their knockout games and while they would probably have preferred not to have played an extra hour of football, they did so after coming from behind. "It's something very big for us", said Croatia fan Neman, arriving at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport. Although there's often outrage in the country when ITV shows a game over the BBC, largely as a result of the ad breaks during halftime, ITV commentators Jon Champion and Ally McCoist have emerged as one of the most popular pairings in a long time.

On a serious note, Kerr's expertise, knowledge and passion for the game is second to none and as we've previously stated, it's criminal that he doesn't have a position within the FAI - read into that what you will.

Croatia lost to hosts France in the semi-finals 20 years ago in what was their first World Cup as an independent nation, going on to beat the Netherlands in the third-place play-off.

They beat Sweden 2-0 on Saturday, before Croatia advanced at the expense of hosts Russian Federation on penalties.

"Gareth Southgate and the boys have done a fantastic job and I'm sure that they are going to go on to do well. Probably nobody would go to work!"

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On Sunday he moves on to Helsinki to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin for long-awaited talks on neutral territory. President Trump will head to London on Friday, where he's expected to face protests at every turn.

Croatia are wary of the threat posed by England captain Harry Kane, the tournament's leading scorer with six goals so far, while England will have to close down arguably the best player of this World Cup, Luka Modric.

Lovren was not impressed when he was reminded of that day by an English reporter.

"It's completely irrelevant, " he said through a translator. "Why didn't you ask me about when I played well? You're just nit-picking in terms of my performances".

He added: "I have full respect for Kane". He's been showing season in, season out that he's one of the best strikers in the Premier League.

Right back Sime Vrsaljko limped off during the quarterfinal win over host Russian Federation and goalkeeper Danijel Subasic had a hamstring injury during extra time but remained in the match. "We know what's at stake and at such moments you forget fatigue you may feel because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity - it may never repeat itself again". "We need all the players but those on the pitch must be fully fit".

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