England striker Raheem Sterling has returned home from Qatar with the blessing of boss Gareth Southgate after his family home was robbed ahead of Sunday night’s 3-0 last 16 win over Senegal.
It is unclear if Sterling will return for the Three Lions
England striker Raheem Sterling has returned home from the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The 27-year-old was left out of Gareth Southgate’s squad for Sunday’s 3-0 last-16 win over Senegal and France in the quarter-finals. Sterling’s absence is understood to be because she was nervous and concerned for the welfare of her children after her home was broken into on Saturday night.
Sterling did not take the decision lightly given the key stage of the tournament in Qatar and could return if the conditions are right. “We’ll have to wait and see,” Southgate said of Sterling’s return to the World Cup, focusing solely on giving the Chelsea striker the time and support he needs.
“Rahim, as mentioned in the FA statement, is facing family issues and he is returning to England,” the England coach told a press conference at the Al Bait Stadium.
“We need to give him time to deal with it or be with his family. That’s the most important thing, so we’re going to give him that space.
“It didn’t affect the team selection. I spent a lot of time with Rahim this morning, but you know there are days when things happen and you have to deal with them.
“He’s on his way home and yes, we remember to allow him space and respect his privacy, so we don’t want to go into too much detail.
“Obviously it’s not ideal for the team before a big game, but it becomes irrelevant – at that point the individual is more important than the group.
“So I had to take control of the situation and pass it on to other people to sort it out in the afternoon to get him home.”
Raheem Sterling missed England’s win over Senegal
England captain Harry Kane sent his best wishes to Sterling at the Man of the Match press conference at Al Hort.
“Our thoughts are with him and his family,” he said. “It’s his personal issue, but it’s never easy for one or your teammates or friends to go through something like that.
“We will take it day by day and make the best decision for him and his family.
“As a team, we send him our best and hope to see him as soon as possible.”
What is the channel between Japan and Croatia? Start time, TV and live streaming details
Group E giants Japan look to reach the quarter-finals for the first time at a World Cup when they take on 2018 round-of-16 Croatia on Monday.
The Japanese hope to continue their fairytale start to the 2022 World Cup by beating Croatia on Monday to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in their history.
The Samurai Blues have won 2-1 against Germany and Spain and lost 1-0 to Costa Rica, making them unlikely to qualify for the last 16 as Group E winners. Now they look to continue their journey to the quarterfinals.
But it is Croatia that is about to crush that dream. 2018 finalists Belgium exited the tournament four days ago with a 0-0 draw and finished as runners-up in Group F, while they drew with Morocco and beat Canada 4-1.
When will Japan and Croatia play?
The match between Japan and Croatia kicks off at 15:00 (GMT) on Monday, December 5 at the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar.
This will be the fourth meeting between the two teams, who are meeting for the third time in the World Cup after the group games in 1998 and 2006.
However, it was all level in the last meeting in Germany 16 years ago, with a 0-0 draw in the second leg of Group F, allowing both teams to progress to the last 16 in their final match. However, they struggled to get out of the group early.
Japan topped Group E with a 2-1 win over Spain on Thursday
How to watch
While the match will be broadcast on BBC One, the match will also be streamed live on BBC iPlayer and the BBC iPlayer app, as well as on the BBC Sport website.
Information begins at 2:30 p.m.
Ratio between Japan and Croatia from BETFRED
Japan – 3/1
Draw – 9/4
Croatia – 11/10
odds can be changed
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After failing to experiment with a tactical change against Costa Rica, Hajime Moriyasu returned to training against Spain and scored his team’s second giant-killing feat. As a result, Japan is expected to re-name a similar lineup.
However, with center back Kou Itakura sidelined through suspension, right-back Miki Yamane is expected to feature again when Moriaisu returns in the fourth quarter. Wataru Endo should return in place of Hidemasa Morita in midfield, but Ritsu Doan could come off the bench to score again against Spain.
With two goals in three group games for Croatia, Zlatko Dalic has plenty of confidence in defence, but with two goals against Morocco and Belgium, he may look to reshuffle his attack for more success in front of goal. .
If Dalic does not name the same team for a third time, Nikola Vlasic will return to attack and Andrej Kramaric will play a more central role. Otherwise, Marko Livaja and Ivan Perisic complete the top three, followed by Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic.