Exactly how relaxed does England seem before its first World Cup semifinal match in 28 years?
Well, the players were messing around with rubber chickens (yes, multiple chickens) during Tuesday’s practice session. So prepared the Three Lions must be for Croatia, they feel comfortable enough whacking one another with toy poultry.
The video is pretty funny.
The still photos are even more glorious.
Based on the video, it’s hard to tell what exactly is going on. Is England using the chickens for a drill, or are players just joking around? Or are they joking around during a drill? One report described this as “a possession game of ‘keep the chicken,’ ” but is that a normal occurrence?
Are they making a statement about Croatia’s team? Or a statement about British cooking? Or no statement at all?
So many questions. So few answers. But two chickens, at least.
To set the stage a bit more for Wednesday’s semifinal:
- England hasn’t been to a World Cup semifinal since 1990 and hasn’t been to a final since 1966.
- Croatia is going to its first semifinal since 1998, which was its first World Cup as an independent nation.
- Oddsmakers have England favored with a +130 line (wager $100 to win $130) compared to Croatia’s +240 line (wager $100 to win $240).
- The 1996 song “Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home)” has climbed the British Top-40 pop charts to No. 24 as more and more fans believe England could bring the title back to London.
- They’ll be sorely disappointed if their team loses after playing with rubber chickens.
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