Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Croatia fear Sterling in semi

Gareth Southgate REUTERSGareth Southgate admits the team as a group have been through so much already
Sidney Guerrero | 11 July, 2018, 08:30

After a quiet opening World Cup game against Tunisia, there was speculation Sterling would be dropped for the following group match against Panama.

The attacker was also a subject to social media abuse during the halftime break in the Three Lions' World Cup quarter-final victory over Sweden.

Ex-England right-back and coach Gary Neville blasted the half-time treatment of the 23-year-old on social media as "absolutely disgusting".

However, the England manager is hesitant to change what has been a winning formula in Russian Federation and Sterling is odds on to retain his place in the lineup when the Three Lions take on Croatia in the semi-final on Wednesday night. "OK, we didn't have the cherry on the cake, the goal, where all of a sudden you're a hero, but it was a brilliant performance".

Raheem Sterling found himself at the centre of controversy in the run-up to the World Cup and is still searching for his best form in Russian Federation but coach Gareth Southgate insists he is a "fundamental" part of the England set-up.

Beckham said: "It is wrong".

Gazza's message for Southgate and his England squad
It seems like the choice would be between declaring a national holiday and letting people skip work guilt-free or not declaring one and having the largest sick day in decades.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic has identified Raheem Sterling as England's danger man in the World Cup semi-final on Wednesday. Every player deserves to be applauded.

"They dealt with Sweden relatively easily so we know they are going to be a hard opponent and we respect them", he said.

"We as a country are united and behind the team".

"Until football is finished I will try and stay in as much as I can, watch TV and no one can say nothing".

England now has to confront a harder test than their previous encounters in the semifinal where they will come up against Croatia who defeated Russian Federation earlier to progress into the next round.

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