England’s Fabian Delph ready to miss a game to be at birth

Jesse Lingard England

Defender Syam Ben Youssef is now seen as an important figure in the team as he will have to deal with some of the best-attacking talents in the world.

"He understands the way I play", Lingard added.

Southgate usually only tells his players who is starting on the day of the game, but explained to the press that in this case he was making an exception given the importance of the occasion, reported Xinhua news agency.

They're also the favourite to win this year's tournament, so they may make it six.

England manager Gareth Southgate said he never expected to lead his country into a World Cup, but is now excited by the prospect of doing it in Russian Federation.

But England fans still picked the rivals we love to dislike the most when asked who will win in Russian Federation this summer.

"In four years' time, we are going to be massively competitive but at the moment it is a big ask to win a World Cup with a totally inexperienced team with obvious areas of weakness", he told the BBC. "I'm waiting on the text to say "get back home".

"But it is another game of football, on a pitch the size that these boys have played on all their lives and we have to prepare them that way".

Fernandinho receives death threats & racist abuse in wake of Brazil exit
England face Croatia in the tournament's other semi-final clash after they advanced by easing past Sweden 2-0 in the last eight. Thomas Vermaelen also spoke with the media at a news conference on Sunday and is expecting a hard match against the French.

"Equally, we have other stories in our camp which I think help to take the pressure away from him".

England midfielder Fabian Delph has no qualms over putting his World Cup dreams on ice if his wife goes into labour with the couple's third child.

It is hard to remember a similar scenario with England at a major tournament, but the midfielder's partner is due to give birth on June 30 - just two days after the final Group G match against Belgium.

The North Africans were unbeaten in their World Cup qualifying campaign but had to endure a nervy finish when they drew 0-0 with strugglers Libya to edge out the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"We've worked on various different systems with various personnel", he said.

The Football Association's secluded retreat at the forRestMix Club in Repino has been kitted out, among other things, with super-fast WiFi - which is just as well if the players need to do a bit of extra cramming ahead of kick-off.

Kane says that, despite being captain, leadership will be shared among players but that he knows he has to deliver the goals.

"He's dropped arguably one of the best England players ever and the top goalscorer as well".

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