Euphoric France dreams of World Cup glory after 20-year wait


The former England centre-half is a vision of confidence ahead of the Three Lions' first World Cup semi-final in 28 years and he doesn't expect Gareth Southgate's side to encounter too much bother at the Luzhniki Stadium.

In addition to touching on England's preparations for the nation's biggest game in almost three decades, Southgate took the time to praise World Cup hosts Russian Federation. England fans have been superb since day one and they're going to have to be louder than ever for the Croatia game.

The bus company have even gone as far as printing "It's coming home" on tickets bought for travel.

With 39 percent of Russians in the VTsIOM poll saying they would only watch World Cup matches in which their national team was playing, viewing figures are set to decline sharply.

France's squad includes two players born outside of the country - Cameroon-born defender Samuel Umtiti who moved to France with his family aged 2, and goalkeeper Steve Mandanda who has also lived in France with his family since he was 2.

But British Airways, which has seen a 700 percent increase in searches for flights to Russian Federation on its website since England's penalty shootout win over Colombia last week, has now released hundreds more seats on Moscow flights by using bigger planes.

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Alli scored his first World Cup goal as England cruised into the last four with a 2-0 win over Sweden on Saturday.

"A lot of young players were involved two years ago, suffered huge disappointment, we could have ignored that and looked to the future but we felt it was important to unpick it and find out exactly why we've had 10 years since we won a knockout game".

Southgate also said he had not bought into much of the scaremongering about Russian Federation peddled by sections of the United Kingdom press ahead of the tournament.

The Chelsea shot-stopper made a few more fine saves, especially from Benjamin Pavard - but the match never truly ignited in the way we wanted.

"For me, Kevin De Bruyne is the modern playmaker", he said. Harry Kane takes the field with England in their final group stage match Thursday. Some believe he'll end up being the best player in the world.