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World Cup semifinal preview: England vs. Croatia

World Cup semifinal preview: England vs. Croatia
Posted at 1:06 PM, Jul 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-11 17:05:01-04

MOSCOW (AP) - The Latest on Wednesday's World Cup semifinal game between Belgium and France, airing at 2 pm on Fox 4.


Gareth Southgate has picked an unchanged lineup for the third game in a row as England bids to reach its first World Cup final since 1966.
The semifinal match against Croatia in Moscow marks the fourth time this tournament that England's coach has used this lineup. The same team beat Tunisia 2-1 in the group stage, Colombia on penalties in the round of 16 and Sweden 2-0 in the quarterfinals.
England has returned to the World Cup semifinals for the first time since 1990, while Croatia's only previous semifinal appearance ended in a loss to France in 1998.
England: Jordan Pickford, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Jesse Lingard, Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Kieran Trippier, Ashley Young, Dele Alli.
The Croatia squad has arrived at the Luzhniki Stadium for its World Cup semifinal match against England.
About 15 minutes after England walked out onto the field to survey the surroundings, the Croats did the same.
Croatia is playing in the World Cup semifinals for the second time. The Croats reached the same round at the 1998 tournament in France, but lost to the host team.
The Croatians are coming off back-to-back wins in penalty shootouts after extra time in knockout games against Denmark and Russia.
The winner of Wednesday's semifinal will play France in the final at the same stadium on Sunday.
The England team has arrived at the Luzhniki Stadium for its World Cup semifinal match against Croatia.
Harry Kane, Dele Alli and the rest of the squad got off their bus and walked out onto the field with more than an hour and a half to go before kickoff.
England is playing in its first World Cup semifinal since 1990. The English have not reached the final since 1966, when they won the title at home.  Croatia is  back in the semifinals for the first time since 1998, and have never reached the final
The winner of Wednesday's match will face France in the final on Sunday.
FIFA wants fewer images of attractive women in World Cup stadiums shown on future broadcasts.
FIFA diversity chief Federico Addiechi says soccer's world body will talk with national broadcasters and its own TV production team.
The subject arose Wednesday in a review of FIFA's anti-discrimination program in Russia. Monitors identified sexist incidents including fans harassing female broadcasters as having been a bigger problem so far than acts of racism.
Addiechi says FIFA's stance is "a normal evolution," and broadcasts in Russia have already improved from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
He says FIFA has already intervened with broadcasters "on a case-by-case basis when some cases arose and they were pretty evident."
The World Cup has butted in at the NATO summit in Brussels.
British Prime Minister Theresa May and her Belgian counterpart exchanged national team jerseys at the European Union summit two weeks before their countries met at the World Cup. And May already has a Croatia shirt ahead of Wednesday's semifinal.
May and Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic have met on the sidelines of the NATO summit for the friendly exchange. May remains convinced England will advance to its first final since 1966.
May says England coach "Gareth Southgate and the boys have done a fantastic job and I'm sure that they're going to go on and do well. I just wish them all the very best of luck."
The last exchange didn't prove lucky for May, with Belgium beating England in group play. But Belgium was eliminated by France in the first of the World Cup semifinals, a pathway through the knockout stage that England avoided.
The leaders are meeting in Brussels for the annual summit of the 29 NATO allies.

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