Semi Final: England v Croatia

IDFD

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#2
Guys. There are 4 teams left in the tournament and we are one of them.

We’re down to the European Championship now.
 

IDFD

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#4
Feel we have to change personnel for this game. Henderson Alli Lingard will all us to be torn apart by Rakitic Modric can’t allow them to have that much space
 

jsp

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#6
Same team for me as well they got us this far they deserve to play the semi and none of the reserves have done enough when they’ve played to make you think about changing it.
 
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#8
Alli has been pretty rubbish so far but I don’t think we will change the team. Sterling also had been poor, sure he’s had good movement at times but his finishing is beyond woeful. However, I think he’ll play again because Gareth won’t want to change a winning team.

I read this morning that Henderson is a doubt with a tight hamstring so he would be a blow I think. However much I don’t really like him he’s a far better option than Dier who would no doubt replace him.
 

Mr C

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#9
defo the same team, don't break a winning formula.

I haven't seen anything in Croatia in the games I have seen of them to see why England couldn't beat them. Saying that anyting can happen in football, if we did get to the final France or Belgium would be clear favourites but there still would be a chance.
 

boothstownred

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#10
Even talking about England I have my United head on. A couple of games ago I would have said rashford for sterling. I don't see the mileage in that change now. He would be breaking up a winning to but also, lets be honest if they lost it would all become rashfords fault.
 

Mr C

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#11
Henderson an injury doubt.

That could be trouble, becasue Dier has looked, well, dire.

and Henderson has been excellent.
 

jsp

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#12
I don't think Loftus Cheek deserved to be dropped tbf
I think he had a good appearence as a sub vs Tunisia was ok vs Panama & Belgium whereas Alli before his injury vs Tunisia was fantastic. I agree he's struggled since I don't think he's looked fully fit but I don't think he deserves to be dropped.

I actually think Loftus-Cheek is a great player to have off the bench because he looks after the ball so well and against tired teams having someone who does that is vital just in case we need to settle things down at some point.
 

jsp

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#13
Henderson an injury doubt.

That could be trouble, becasue Dier has looked, well, dire.
Would be massive if he was out been probably our best player along with Trippier this tournament.

Dier has struggled but in his defence he's not played much football and he's never really played that role in that system as Spurs play 2 in midfield wheres Henderson is used to being that holder in a 3 as it's exactly what he does at Liverpool.
 

Red Warrior

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#15
Saying that anyting can happen in football, if we did get to the final France or Belgium would be clear favourites but there still would be a chance.
England are second favourites according Skybet!

Yes Alli has been poor, so has Sterling but let's be positive, surely this means they are both due a performance. I'm thinking Sterling is due goal in the next game surely.
 
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#17
Still can't believe that we are in the semi finals of the World Cup. Never thought I'd see the day and what an opportunity this team now has. Croatia are a good team but they aren't special.
 

JSNFRMN

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#18
This is the biggest game of a lot of England's player's careers. Only Jordan Henderson from the starting lineup has featured in a Champions League final which is probably the only thing bigger than this. Lingard and Young have started in one FA Cup final and that is maybe the only other 2 that have come close to anything this big. Where as a few members of Croatia's squad have been involved in those experiences a few times.

If they lose, I hope England fans/media etc. realise that a 3rd/4th place is a major achievement for this largely inexperienced group and they can build on it going forward. It's been a positive tournament for once and they should be treated as a success regardless of what happens from here, rather than the failures of the past 20+ years.
 
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#19
What I will say on this matter is this...

We are the underdogs but we should cherish that tag. People will write us off, people will make every case for Croatia. Let them. Let them give us next to no chance.

I'm a Philadelphia Eagles football fan and I watched my team deliver what everyone said we couldn't do. We won the Super Bowl against all the odds. We lost several star players including a vitally important Hall of Fame player and our young star QB who was the best player in the NFL at the time of his injury.

We went in to the play offs as the number 1 seed with home field advantage right up until the Super Bowl. And we were underdogs in every single game. And then in the Super Bowl we faced Tom Brady, the greatest QB in the history of the game. And we faced Bill Belichick the greatest coach in the history of the game. And we got in to an offensive shoot out with them that everyone said we'd lose if we did that. And we won.

Dreams and miracles can happen. One happened for me in February and now England can make it a damn good 2018 to be a sports fan.
 

Red Warrior

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#20
I think if we can beat Colombia and Sweden, Croatia shouldn't be a problem. They only just scraped through Denmark and Russia but they did look good in the first round. Apart from Rakitic and Modric they haven't got a lot. Lovren certainly isn't a defender to worry about!
 

IDFD

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#21
I don’t think we’re underdogs against Croatia. Slight favourites as long as we can keep Modric quiet. Mandzucic doesn’t scare me. Their #1 keeper is injured and Kane will have a field day bullying Lovren.
 

Mr C

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#22
I think on paper we are underdogs, on form we are favourites. I just hope he keeps the same team, keeps the mentality right and doesn't opt for two holding midfielders.
 
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#23
Croatia were very impressive in the group stages but distinctly average in the knockouts. They are nothing to fear for sure. Obviously Modric and Rakitic are class acts and they have distinguished players like Perisic and Mandzukic but other than that they have an average squad.

We got this guys.
 

jsp

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#24
I don't think you can make anyone the favourites I'd say Croatia have probably faced tougher opponents than England but they've made hard work of their 2 knockout games and hopefully those back to back extra time will have taken a lot out of the tank of players like Mandzukic, Perisic, Modric etc.

I'm confident if we stick with the plan and play our game we've got a great chance.
 

JSNFRMN

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#25
I've not seen Croatia in the knockouts to be fair. I've read Vrsaljko may be out which would be a big blow for them and would mean moving Vida to RB and bringing Corluka in.
 
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#26
I feel like if it's still level after 60/70 minutes then we need to go for it because Croatia will be out on their feet. Those extra time and penalties are going to catch up with them.
 

Mr C

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#27
could go either way, hopefully England will get the first goal and control the game. Serious butterflies. I still think we are second faourites, but this England team just keeps on surprising.

Mbappe will destroy Young in the final if we get there :)
 

kef2138

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#28
I liked how Croatia played in the group phase, but was rather disappointed with their performances in the play-off rounds. I'm not sure whether it's because of better adversaries or because of their inexperience with later stages of the competition, but they've been more nervous, less willing to take risks and go forward, unless forced to. So, I think England has better chances to reach the final. I really hope it will be an entertaining match tonight. Yesterday I nearly fell asleep.
 

JSNFRMN

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#29
Good luck neighbours! Really hope you get to the final but don't be too disappointed if you don't. Of course this has been your best chance of getting to a final in my lifetime but it's been a positive tournament and the next 2-4 tournaments could be just as good if not better.
 

IDFD

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#30
I can't remember the last time that I was this nervous for a football match.
 
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