A look at what’s ahead in the World Cup

A look at what’s ahead in the World Cup

Harry Kane was not even born when England last reached the World Cup semifinals 28 years ago, but the Tottenham striker - who has met 1966 final hat-trick hero Geoff Hurst - fully appreciates the weight of history he and his teammates are making in Russian Federation. England have been far more reliant on set-play strategy than fellow semi-finalists Belgium and France, who have struck three goals each from them, while their next opponents Croatia have scored from only one set piece and one penalty.

That goal was a timely one for both the collective and the individual, who had seen his place come under question from some quarters earlier in the tournament.

He still wears the same shin pads he had as an 11-year-old, despite at one stage losing them for six months, and has a series of rituals he performs ahead of every game.

"And we have to be like that, I think, if we are going to get in the final, so we'll have to perform well and play well."

"They showed from the games I've seen so far that they play direct football and they are very fast". I don't really ever get nervous anyway. If we had to play two big teams in close succession, that's very hard.

"You obviously have got your family at home and the kids that you need to keep in touch with, keep checking in or the missus might go mad". "It's [meant so] much to me and the whole team!"

Sterling celebrates with his teammates during England's win over Sweden.

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With regards to England's midfield, Thompson has been very impressed with Jordan Henderson and thinks that his performances so far in Russian Federation have shown why he is playing ahead of Tottenham's Eric Dier.

After the tension of extra-time and penalties in a bad-tempered clash with Colombia, England's progress to the last four was relatively serene in easing past Sweden 2-0 on Saturday. It will be a battle again but I trust us, I have belief in us'.

Ironically, Alli says he felt he did better with the less familiar tasks than with his usual forte, making penetrating runs and providing a threat in the box.

Yet he was there to head in Jesse Lingard's cross to double the lead, after Harry Maguire's first half opener.

"It's been a long time since England have done well in a major tournament, and we've got a tough game coming up against Croatia, but we feel confident". Some people when they nutmeg (someone), they call it but never been something I've done.

"We will be more competitive".

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