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Is It... Actually... 'Coming Home'?

One News Page Staff Monday, 9 July 2018 ()
Is It... Actually... 'Coming Home'?by

To say that this year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia has been an exciting one is putting it mildly. Occasionally, you’ll see a few of the bigger teams and better squads drop out in the earlier stages – but this year, everything is wide open, and fans are going ballistic for their respective teams – as the biggest obstacles are out of the way. Italy didn’t even qualify for the cup finals – while Germany stumbled out at the group stage, Spain, Portugal and Argentina failed to make it to the quarter-finals – and Brazil own-goaled themselves into oblivion to deny their team a shot at a semi-final that every bookmaker in the world would have told you they were heading towards.

Therefore, at the time of writing, we’re left with just four matches left – the two semi-finals, the final, and the third-place playoff. The four teams left in, somewhat bizarrely, are France, Belgium, Croatia and England. Odds are stacked in favor of France or Belgium to win at this stage – Belgium having consistently dominated in matches and having been giant-killers of Brazil at the quarter-finals – with Croatia and England set to produce a somewhat unexpected finalist in their bracket. England fans are going more than a little crazy over the fact that they’ve reached the semi-finals at all – it hasn’t happened for them since 1990, and a meme based on the 1996 football song ‘Three Lions’ – otherwise known as ‘Football’s Coming Home’ – has been doing the rounds more and more online.

England fans are an excitable bunch to say the least – the last time they made a World Cup final, they won it – back in 1966 – and with the current team having recently beaten the infamous ‘penalty curse’ against Colombia in the second round and having seen the formidable Sweden off with a 2-0 victory, faith in Gareth Southgate’s side to take the team to the final is extremely strong. Croatia, however, aren’t a team to be tangled with – they clinched victory over hosts Russia via penalties, though quite how they will perform against England is a different matter entirely.

England FINALLY Win On Penalties. Is It Actually Coming Home?
England FINALLY Win On Penalties. Is It Actually Coming Home?

Will football finally be ‘coming home’ for England? While hopes are high that they could beat Croatia – they’ll face either former world champions in France or their earlier nemeses from the group stage – the dark horses of the contest, Belgium – so let’s wait and see how this week plays out for everyone involved!

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