2018 World Cup Preview, Group G: Belgium and England to Battle It Out

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Belgium are favorites, but both they and England will have been happy with the draw.

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Football in Gibraltar Keeps on Rocking

The tiny enclave with a population of just 30,000 gained UEFA membership in May 2013, allowing the British territory to take part in Euro 2016 qualifying and will next be competing for FIFA World Cup 2018 qualification starting in September 2016.

In an interesting twist, local domestic champions, the Lincoln Red Imps recently pulled off a major upset in a UEFA Champions second round qualifier against fellow Brits Celtic with the second leg due to be played next week.

 The Panenka looks at a strange mix of football and politics in the British satellite state.

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Croatia’s Systemic Racism Problem

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In the last ten years Croatia have made the headlines for all the wrong reasons. The majority of media coverage surrounding the team has been in connection to the racist behavior of their fans instead of the men on the pitch

The Panenka reviews Croatia’s racist history where the unwelcome behavior has not just been limited to the stands but throughout the national football association.
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Slutsky, Dzyuba Downbeat On Russia’s Euro 2016 Chances

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Russia has enjoyed varied degrees of success since Guus Hiddink took the side to a third place finish at Euro 2008. Dreary football and failure to qualify for one of the last three tournaments in the years that followed meant that Russian football was struggling to comprehend it’s failure after witnessing some of it’s best performances.

The appointment of a new domestically respected manager and a strong finish to qualifying has revived expectations back home. The man in charge though is not so confident and has put an air of limitation on what his side can achieve.

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Euro 2016 Team Preview: England

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Perennial underachievers of major tournaments, a new era for England beckons with a number of high profile retirements in the recent past. Too good for the qualifiers, but not good enough for the tournament itself is a familiar story for England. However, a new hunger within England’s ranks is becoming very clear. After some surprisingly fantastic performances by English players in an unforgettable Premier League this season it still might prove a little too difficult NOT to allow England to expect glory this time around.

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