Ahead of England’s World Cup semi-final against Croatia, three snooker stars give their views and predictions for the match.

As the tension builds ahead of England’s World Cup semi-final against Croatia, we asked three snooker stars to give their views on Gareth Southgate’s team, and their predictions for the match on Wednesday evening….

How much have you enjoyed watching England so far?

Ricky Walden: It has been refreshing to see us having a go and playing in a positive way with an attacking formation. Before the tournament I was confident and felt we would at least reach the quarter-finals.

Mark King: My wife and my youngest daughter Polly don’t really watch football, but we all sat and watched the Colombia game together. We were all running about in the garden when Kane scored during the match. When it went to penalties we thought it would be the same old story, but we did it. I thought we played really well against Sweden. We haven’t produced the best we can yet. We have a lot more in the locker. Other teams should be more scared of us than we should be of them.

Alfie Burden: It has been so special to watch it with my son Lene. I was 13 when we reached the semi finals in 1990. Expectations were so low for this tournament, but I was quietly optimistic. It has been brilliant.

Who have been the key players?

Walden: As a Liverpool fan I am biased but I think Jordan Henderson has been out best player so far. He was excellent in the last few weeks of the season for Liverpool and he has kept that form going. Harry Maguire and Kieran Trippier have also been very good.

King: Maguire at the back has been unbelievable. He wins every single header. I’d just like to see Raheem Stirling do a bit more. He has been pretty poor by his standards, but hopefully he will come good when we need him to. Trippier is brilliant as well.

Burden: Sterling has had a lot of unwarranted stick but he does a lot of work for the team, stretching defences. Maguire and Trippier have been superb. Harry Kane has been magnificent at holding the ball up and drawing fouls.

Where will you be watching the game against Croatia?

Walden: Just at home on the sofa with a drink or two.

King: I’m out in Campoamor in Spain with my son Freddie’s football team at the moment. We are supposed to be flying home on Wednesday evening so as it stands I might miss the game. I’m trying to change the flight so I don’t have to miss it.

Burden: I have watched all the games at home so far, except the Sweden game when I was at a party in Manchester with David Beckham, for his dad’s 70th birthday. I have got to know David as our sons play football together. He is very positive – it’s nice to speak to someone like that. If we get to the final I might try and get a spare slot on his jet on Sunday! My dad is out in Russia for the Croatia game.

What’s the score going to be?

Walden: It will be tight but England will win 1-0.

King: We’ll win 2-1 or 3-1.

Burden: 3-1 to England

If England win the World Cup, how will you celebrate?

Walden: If the semi-final goes the right way on Wednesday, I’m hoping to go out to Russia for the final. To celebrate in Red Square in Moscow with the England fans would be amazing. I have been talking to (former pro) Dave Harold and a few other friends and if we reach the final we’ll be looking at options to get there.

King: I would just be running about if we won. It would be incredible for the country. The last 20 years have been about losing on penalties and really tough times for the team. In fairness, this is probably the one time we have gone into it and not really expected all that much. All of a sudden we are in the semi-finals. I think we can do it. We were building up for 2022 and aiming to do well there, but we have a real chance to do it now.

Burden: I’m not sure as my dad is in Russia and Lene is in Florida with the Arsenal squad this weekend so he’ll be watching it there. The whole country is just riding the wave at the moment. It’s amazing.

Source- World Snooker

Related News

City Knights Defy Odds To Emerge Champions.

Barry Hawkins Hopes That An Improved Attitude Towards Overseas Events Will Give Him A Better Chance Of Winning Titles.

Mark Williams 18-16 World Championship Final Win Over John Higgins Capped Off A Historic 2017-18 Campaign.

Budapest Is All Set To Host New Challenge Tour.

David Grace Claimed His First Silverware Of The 2018/19 Challenge Tour Season With Victory At Event Two In Preston

Catapulting Yourself From The Amateur Echelons Of Sport Into The Professional Elite Is As Daunting A Career Path As Any Other.

The Draw And Format For The Final Stages Of The Kaspersky Riga Masters Is Now Available.

David Grace Won The Second Challenge Tour Event Of The 2018/19 Season.

Riga And World Open Qualifiers- The Players With Two Out Of Two Wins So Far

Debutant Simon Lichtenberg Secured His First Professional Win, Upsetting 1997 World Champion Ken Doherty By 5-2.

Judd Trump Outclassed Debutant Kishan Hirani 5-0 At The Qualifiers In Preston To Sail Into The Yushan World Open.

Kyren Wilson Came Through A Tough Test Against Nigel Bond In The Qualifying Round Of The Yushan World Open

Mei Xiwen Registered A Surprise 5-4 Victory Over 2005 World Champion Shaun Murphy.

Marco Fu Defeated Elliot Slessor 4-1 To Register His First Tour Victory Since 2017, At Kaspersky Riga Masters.

Mark Allen Defeated Daniel Wells 4-2 To Start Off Positively At The Kaspersky Riga Masters In Preston.

Niu Zhaung Defeated World Champion Stuart Bingham By 4 - 0 At Qualifying In Preston.

Jamie Jones And Shaun Murphy Clinched Their Place On The Opening Day Of Riga Masters Qualifiers 2018.

The Format For The Qualifying Rounds Of 2018/19 Season – Kaspersky Riga Masters And World Open.

Happy Birthday To Raja - Who Overcame Disabilities To Become A Billiards Champion

Manbetx Has Renewed Its Title Sponsorship Of The Welsh Open World Ranking Event.

Ladbrokes To Sponsor Trio Of Snooker's Key Events.

Neil Robertson Is Full Of Optimism As He Looks Ahead To The 2018/19 Season.

World Snooker Tour 2018/19: Expert's Predictions

Pink Ribbon Charity Pro-am To Begin From July 28th.

Mark Selby May Have Faced A Real Battle In The Coming Season To Stay On Top.