Paul Gascoigne will fly to Moscow for World Cup semi-final


Paul Merson gives his verdict on the World Cup semi-finals as England, Croatia, Belgium and France battle it out in Russian Federation.

While the England players are tucked away in a sleepy training base in the remote town of Repino, 45 kilometres (28 miles) northwest of Saint Petersburg, football fever is sweeping the nation back home.

Kane recalls with affection the buzz from watching past tournaments, dreaming one day of pulling on the England jersey. I think Barry Hearn paid for the squad to have a trip to Las Vegas and I remember Harry and Tom asking me if they could go.

"We have some unbelievable players and a great manager and everyone is clear on what we want to do and when you have such a solid foundation, it's not a surprise that it's going well for us".

Sir Alf Ramsey led England to World Cup glory in 1966 (PA Archive).

"They showed from the games I've seen so far that they play direct football and they are very fast". I find it impossible how Croatia can play back-to-back extra time and penalties, and then come again.

This is a tough choice and I went for both teams scoring.

"It's incredible, because I was one of those kids growing up who wanted to play for England".

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Kane scored twice in the opening game against Tunisia, including a last-minute victor, and a hat-trick in the rout of Panama.

And while he didn't score against Sweden on Saturday, Kane still played his part in a confident England display.

I haven't watched England and thought: 'Wow.' In any game.

"Even speaking to my family, I didn't feel like I was playing well, especially in the first half".

England medical staff do not consider the problem too serious, but Henderson, who ran two kilometres more than any other player during their round-of-16 win over Colombia, was impressive against Sweden.

Alli's career has continued on an upward curve since he left MK Dons, but that has not stopped him bringing some of his pre-match rituals from his League One days to the World Cup.

While France have their own plethora of attacking superstars, it will be defensive midfielder N'Golo Kante who holds the key to victory for Les Bleus. "And if it's France I think they'll win it". We could only make amends for that moment here at this World Cup.

"We will be more competitive".