Sterling at heart of Englands bid despite goal drought

Raheem Sterling at World Cup in Russia

Dier, while speaking at a press conference ahead of England versus Croatia match on Wednesday, said Sterling has been "incredible" before and now.

Two moments from England's first half against Sweden made the highlight reel for Raheem Sterling - first when he was deemed just offside after being one-on-one with the keeper, secondly when he failed to beat the Swedish custodian from a close range. Yet, anybody who observed England's quarter-final win over Sweden without any bias would tell you how influential Sterling was to England's gameplay.

"I think there are a lot of similarities to the team of 96".

"They are really good at set-pieces and their tall players are risky at corners".

"Now I am constantly thinking: 'If I do this, something bad will come of it, if I go out tonight something bad is going to happen".

Goalless for England since October 2015, Raheem Sterling doesn't fit anybody's definition for a second striker, especially when England have the likes of Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Jamie Vardy in their squad - all of whom have contributed more goals than the Manchester City forward. "We don't fear England or anybody else".


"The runs he was making, it is a key factor as a front player".

On a more positive note, he looked forward to playing another attack-minded team in England after his side's relative struggles against the more defensive styles of Iceland, Denmark and Russian Federation.

Although Jones acknowledged that the 23-year-old's movement and positioning had been fine during the tournament, he appeared to question how good he'd be were it not for his blistering pace.

Playing alongside Liverpool's Dejan Lovren, Vida has been one of the best defenders at Russian Federation 2018 and Dalic said he would be key to Croatia's plans to keeping Kane out, just as they stopped Argentina's Lionel Messi and Christian Eriksen of Denmark.

Gareth Southgate's men have reached the country's first semi-final at the tournament since 1990 as the team attempt to emulate the all-conquering side of 1966. He would have knocked that one in over the top, he's got a great touch.

To drop Sterling may create uncertainty in the England camp and may lead to Southgate having to subtle changes to his play-style and tactics which may disrupts the rest of the team's form.

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