Look, we didn’t write the song.
With Sunday morning’s 2-0 defeat of Sweden, England’s hopes to make history loom ever larger as they progress to the semi-finals.
The question on everybody’s lips, is: Can they actually do it?
We break down the obstacles in England’s path to World Cup glory in this week’s World Cup Wrap. Read on:
OBSTACLE 1: THE IMMEDIATE CHALLENGER
Croatia may not be favourites to win the Cup, but their intensity of play saw them knock out the host nation over the weekend. Croatia’s vigour and tenacity could be dangerous for the yet-to-be-truly-tested England side.
Indeed, there’s been a lot of speculation over England’s supposedly ‘cruisy’ path to the World Cup semi-finals. Whether or not you agree, their form during Sunday morning’s game was serviceable, but surely not the best we’ve seen from them this tournament. While England dominated in attacking play, there were several moments where either fatigue or overconfidence set in – and Sweden nearly made them pay for it (saved by the bell – an earning-his-bread Jordan Pickford).
Will England finally cheat history and progress to the finals? We’ll soon find out – England play Croatia live on SBS at the eye-watering time of 4am AEST Thursday.
RELIVE ENGLAND’S WINNING GOAL AGAINST SWEDEN
OBSTACLE 2: THE BIG UNFRIENDLY GIANTS
France and Belgium are in it to win it. We already knew France would be a strong contender – but Belgium’s still-green ‘golden generation’ were a surprise addition to the semi-finals when they firmly dispatched heavyweights Brazil 2-1 in the quarter-final.
Both teams pack considerable punch – and England is right to be wary. Belgium’s Eden Hazard, a Chelsea star, is possibly the most dangerous talent remaining in the tournament. Les Bleus are packing young gun Kylian Mbappé, and star midfielder Paul Pogba, among others. And while France’s performance has been somewhat shaky throughout the tournament, they remain firm favourites to win the Cup.
France face Belgium at 4am AEST tomorrow.
OBSTACLE 3: THE WEIGHT OF THE WORLD
Should England defeat Croatia, they’ll face their biggest obstacle yet – and it isn’t their opponents.
England have only ever reached a World Cup final once, in 1966. They defeated West Germany to bring home the glory – and have been trying to reclaim the Cup ever since.
It’s a quest that’s weighed heavily on the Three Lions. Despite a thriving pool of Premier League talent, England’s last World Cup semi-final was in 1990. And it will certainly be weighing on this year’s side.
Celebrations in the UK are already reaching fever-pitch, with London revellers causing massive disruptions in the wake of the win against Sweden. There’s talk of a public holiday should they win the Cup.
The Three Lions’ best course of action is to put all expectations out of their mind, and maintain focus. The pressure is on!
Can they do it? We’ll find out this week, one way or another.
WATCH MORE HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE WEEK:
HI JOSH TAKES ON GOAL CELEBRATIONS
If you’re not dancing in unison, you’re not doing it right.
GOAL OF THE TOURNAMENT?
Russia may be out, but may yet win goal of the tournament with this stunner.
BEST COACHING MOMENT
“I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it.”
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