Jose Mourinho has tipped a fresher England side to beat Croatia tonight and reach their first World Cup final since 1966.
It has already been the most incredible summer for England fans, who have dared to dream that Football is finally ‘coming home’ after reaching their first World Cup semi-final in 28 years, but it could still get a whole lot better with just two more wins.
Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad have undoubtedly struck lucky in this summer’s tournament in Russia, with the likes of Belgium, France, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay all being drawn on the opposite side of the draw, while Spain and Germany faced early flights home.
England are now just 90 minutes away from reaching the final, and Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho believes they have both the freshness and youth to be able to edge past the more experienced Croatian outfit:
“I think England is fresher, has younger players, had an easy group phase, where they play two easy matches and the match against Belgium they change every player,” he told Russia Today.
“So the players that are playing now they all had one match less than Croatia to play.
“I think Croatia has a great mentality, a fantastic midfield player to control the game and the possession of the game.
“But England is a happy team, is a team you look at them and you see happiness, is a team that they went from even candidate to candidate and I just hope that they are themselves and not like Belgium that the majority of the players were not themselves.
“In big matches, you have to be yourself or a bit better.”
Mourinho has of course got a number of players still involved in the World Cup, with Phil Jones, Ashley Young, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard all in the England squad, while Paul Pogba has been receiving rave reviews for his disciplined performances for France.
The winners of tonight’s second semi-final will play France in the final on Sunday in Moscow, who beat Belgium 1-0 last night thanks to a headed goal from Samuel Umtiti.