England makes final four for 1st time since '90

Tuesday, 10 Jul, 2018

And perhaps most importantly, why he thinks England should be in the final this weekend.

Raheem Sterling shrugged off the latest criticism aimed at the Manchester City forward to capture the feeling in the England camp and back home.

Their only appearance in a final came back in 1966 when they beat West Germany 4-2.

"Even though they've not had as much game-time as they would have liked, they are as much of a reason why we are where we are. I do so hate it." . When the tournament started last month, few, if anyone, predicted these would be the last teams standing, but a mix of merit and luck has taken the final four countries past the likes of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, host nation Russian Federation and many others.

'We have two matches to play and we are very motivated.

It's fantastic because I was one of those kids growing up who wanted to play for England. At the beginning of working together with the lads and trying to sell them the vision of what's possible, what we're looking to achieve in the long-term.

It is expected that a significant influx of England fans will attempt to reach Moscow and get tickets for Wednesday's semifinal against Croatia. Raphael Varane needs to step up, Vincent Kompany needs to step up because the team whose defence nullifies the other's attack will find themselves in the final. Winning teams are consistent teams in terms of lineups and I don't think the boys will have been tested too much physically by Sweden.

Vardy was an unused substitute in England's quarter-final win over Sweden on Saturday after picking up a groin injury last week.

I hope it's an open game, and I don't want to tempt fate but it should give us goals.

Alli did not say whether Grange had cast her psychologist's eye over his lengthy list of pre-match rituals.

Raphael Varane headed France on their way to a 2-0 win over Uruguay from a free kick while Fernandinho deflected a cross from a corner into his own net to put his Brazil side behind in their eventual 2-1 defeat by Belgium.

"When you look at it like that, obviously it's great, but more importantly it was about the team", he said.

"Obviously it's always nice to score but more importantly we're through to the next round".