Neville thought 3 England stars would struggle at World Cup

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England have a clean bill of health ahead of their first World Cup semi-final in 28 years.

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

England's remarkable set-play success is the fruit of extra preparation on the training ground with attacking coach Allan Russell, who has travelled with Southgate to the United States to study strategies from the National Basketball Association and NFL.

Now, charity Bloodwise is jumping on the World Cup fever and is urging everyone to get involved in "Waistcoat Wednesday" by donning one of their own to watch England take on Croatia in their semi-final match.

"Of course, the tournament ended in disappointment and it is nice to be able to put a different frame on it now".

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The 12 boys on the "Wild Boars" team and their coach were trapped in a cave for more than two weeks, and were all successfully rescued on Tuesday. Croatia lost their only previous semi-final match to host France in 1998.

The company said it was "aware" of the incident and congratulated England on its win.

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England play Croatia at 4am on Thursday morning for a spot in the world cup final, where the victor will play either France or Belgium.

The photograph of which Smith speaks was taken a year ago, when Southgate confiscated his squad's phones and whisked his players off for a gruelling military weekend at the Royal Marines Commando base in Devon.

But the Tottenham Hotspur player, who grew up in Portugal and answered questions from Brazilian media in fluent Portuguese, says that a great part of the team spirit has been the commitment and approach of all players, regardless of their place on the team sheet.

"In honour of the England boss" new-found football fashionista status, we're inviting supporters to grab a waistcoat and button up to beat blood cancer.

"We've strived to be as good as we could be at global level and it's taken us two years to get there".

"It's a very short change around and the travel is a bit more complicated so, quite simply, I've just got my family coming".

England's World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks last night compared the current squad to the victorious 1966 team.

"So we'll just have to assess people as we go".

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