Sam Allardyce torn asunder for advice to Gareth Southgate


Sweden's strong collective is aiming to make life hard for their more illustrious English counterparts when the two sides meet in their World Cup quarter-final clash on Saturday.

Manager Gareth Southgate says England "might not have this opportunity again" as he plots a way past Sweden in the quarter-finals to a first World Cup semi-final appearance in three decades.

"The fascination for me is, yes, the occasion, but also watching the coaches on the side and the defensive strategies and attacking strategies of the teams, so there'll be so much that I'm looking forward to watching as well as just the game and the outcome", Southgate said.

In other quarter-finals, France will play Uruguay at 2am Saturday, Brazil will play Belgium at 6am Saturday while hosts Russian Federation will play Croatia at 6am Sunday.

"We know we have to reach our own standards, which is very close to our maximum like we have done, and that's the only way to win football games at this level", he said.

"Sometimes you can get too bogged down with messages from staff, players, wanting you to do things, play certain passe and you can't really express yourself".

"We're going to be doing everything we can over the next few days to prepare for it and hopefully we can come out on top".

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Sky Sports have reported that Alli will train on Thursday with England to give them a fitness boost, with Jamie Vardy the only serious doubt for the Sweden showdown.

"We knew we had this game, even if it had to go to penalties, we knew we were capable of winning". He had just finished his scholarship and wasn't quite ready for the first-team and the reserve league was an absolute joke, at the time, with a game every three or four weeks.

"Justice as Lions win do-or-Dier shootout" following the 4-3 win on spot-kicks in Moscow.

Airing on ITV, the game, which ran from 6:15pm to 10:30pm, once Colombia equalised in the last minute of normal time, moving the game into extra time, averaged 16.5m viewers across its full slot. "It looks like it would have been a good one".

"They think they are going to win and they will get an unpleasant surprise on Saturday".

England won the ensuing shootout and rivalries were put aside, with Southgate seen putting his arm around upset Colombia players.