Matt Le Tissier's plan for England to reach the World Cup final

Aaron Brown
July 12, 2018

England will face Croatia on Wednesday in their first World Cup semi-final match since 1990.

England have been based in Repino near St. Petersburg for the tournament, but their campaign has taken them to five different host cities.

"Obviously we've been very strong at set-pieces so continuing to work on them and exploiting Croatia's weaknesses will be vital again".

With England a win away from their first World Cup final appearance since 1966, it is clear that the Iceland loss marked not just a low point for the Three Lions but a turning point.

"We needed Churchill, but we got Iain Duncan-Smith", an unnamed defender, later identified as Southgate, was quoted as saying in a 2004 book by Joe Lovejoy.

Following in the footsteps of the heroes of 1966 had looked a pipe dream this summer, but Southgate has created an impressive bond and shaped his promising team into World Cup challengers.

Warnings to England fans and players had ranged from the supposed threat lurking from masses of hooligans, to players being seduced by Kremlin-backed 'honey traps'.

England beat Sweden 2-0 to reach World Cup semi-finals
The 1966 World Cup champions last reached the semifinals in 1990, losing the first of a series of haunting penalty shootouts. England battles Russian Federation or Croatia in the World Cup semifinals at 2 p.m.

Spotify's subscriber numbers now lag behind Apple Music's in U.S. markets
But that's the thing: While iPhone trails Android by a wide margin worldwide, it is just as popular as Android here in the U.S. Spotify has an additional 90M users on the free tier, while Apple is estimated to have 5-10M trial subscribers.

Croatia ends Russia's World Cup dream
RTÉ soccer analyst Didi Hamann believes that England have the slight edge over Croatia going into their World Cup semi-final. Croatia ended Russia's surprising World Cup run with a 4-3 penalty shootout victory in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

"I don't know what to say in response", he said at a news conference.

It's been over 600 days since Gareth Southgate took charge of his first England game.

Renditions of "It's Coming Home" have echoed across pubs, parks and gardens as fans dream of a second World Cup triumph.

The hunger of players has been there for everyone to see, we are proud of the style they have played.

A 2-0 victory over Malta in October, 2016 got Southgate's reign as Sam Allardyce's successor off to the ideal start and he's since managed to guide the Three Lions to a World Cup semi-final.

As the hysteria back home following Saturday's quarter-final win proves, so are the rest of us - and long may it continue, well, for at least another week.

He said: "Whenever you are involved in a tournament like this, you do think about the people who have helped you along the way, and every coach I worked with, teacher, players that I've played with". He knew there was a chance to make history.

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