World Cup 2018: England fans gear up for Croatia semi-final

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image captionThere were raucous celebrations on Brighton beach as England beat Sweden in the quarter-final

World Cup fever is set to bring the country to a standstill as fans brace themselves for England's biggest game in 28 years.

Workplaces across the nation are poised for an early exodus of staff, with supporters aiming to be ready for the Croatia clash with time to spare.

Streets will be deserted as people cram into pubs, gather around big screens or cheer on the team at home.

Kick-off is at 19:00 BST, with the winner facing France in Sunday's final.

England are in the last four for the first time since losing to West Germany in 1990.

People leaving work tonight have been warned rush hour is due to hit earlier than usual as fans race to get away in time for the match.

Football fever has gripped the nation this summer and that has continued in the build-up to the semi-final.

Southgate Tube station in London has been unofficially renamed in honour of England's manager...

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Motorists on the M6 in the West Midlands have been heading "home" all day...

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Commuters travelling on a service from Newcastle to London King's Cross earlier faced an interesting diversion...

image captionA departure board at Newcastle Central railway station

In Greater Manchester, Stagecoach buses had "It's Coming Home" on the front display, a message also on display on the Tyne and Wear Metro system.

Fans will be doing whatever they can to help England across the line, including donning lucky outfits.

image captionTony Campbell wearing a shirt given to him by former England defender Terry Butcher

BBC employee and football fan Tony Campbell is hoping his shirt, worn by former England centre-half Terry Butcher, will be luckier than most.

The former Ipswich Town captain was once his neighbour and Mr Campbell, who works for the BBC in Norwich, was given the shirt as a present for his 20th birthday in August 1985.

The soundtrack to the summer has been Three Lions by the Lightning Seeds and comedians Frank Skinner and David Baddiel.

Actors at the Royal Shakespeare Company posted their own version of the track in the run-up to the Croatia game.

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Amid a massive surge in support, big screens have been installed around the country.

A crowd of 30,000 is expected to watch the match at London's Hyde Park, with events also taking place in cities including Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool and Bristol.

The British Beer and Pub Association has predicted more than 10 million extra pints could be bought tonight, boosting the economy by up to £30m.

Chief executive Brigid Simmonds said it was "fantastic news" for the "great British pub".

image captionThe Fox and Hounds pub in Syston is covered in both England and Croatian flags

One pub in Leicestershire will be flying Croatia and England flags tonight - and the family inside might be the only ones in the area cheering for Zlatko Dalic's side.

Sophie Puljic runs the pub which was opened by her father Martin 31 years ago and said the family was "totally and utterly split".

"We have our Croatian heritage but at the same time it is England's time and we really want them to win," she said.

Police have warned fans not to "overstep the line" after the game in a bid to prevent a repeat of alcohol-fuelled scenes at the weekend.

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