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Angels Links: England and Croatia flying high, Argentina a mess

Also, the press won’t leave Raheem Sterling alone, but he carries on.

England v Panama: Group G - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

2 games have been played by each group. Here’s how all the remaining spots in the knockout round can be claimed

Two games into two the group stage and things are starting to take shape. Several teams have advanced to the knockout rounds, and several others have been eliminated. As far as form goes, England and Croatia stand out as having put in great performances so far, while Germany did get a last gasp win, but still aren’t clicking on all cylinders yet. Meanwhile, Argentina are a complete shambles, and there are rumors the players are making decisions, and have frozen out coach Jorge Sampaoli. Still, Argentina could still qualify if they beat Nigeria and have some other things go in their favor. ESPN has laid out how all the teams still alive could potentially clinch a spot in the net round.

FIFA opens up disciplinary investigation into Swiss goal celebrations against Serbia

If you were to list the countries who might be involved in a goal celebration controversy, I bet Switzerland would be near the bottom, if not last on the list. And yet here we are. You may have noticed after Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri crossed their arms and waved their fingers when they scored their goals against Serbia. This was to represent an eagle, which is on the Albanian flag, and is a popular symbol for Albanians. Both Xhaka and Shaqiri’s families are Kosovar, which was in conflict with Serbia in the 1990’s a brutal war only eventually stopped by NATO intervention. The celebration prompted praise from Albanian and Kosovar media and politicians, and criticism from their Serbian counterparts. It’s unclear what will happen in this case, but this the first instance of political statement on the field at this World Cup.

Raheem Sterling’s journey, and how the media criticism of him hasn’t nearly been as hard for him as his struggle making it to the top

He didn’t score for England on Sunday, but he won’t be out of the news for long. Raheem Sterling is a magnet for criticism in the English tabloids, most of it undeserved and over the top. He’s become the newest target for the English media, and The Sun in particular have posted some truly vile things about him. Still, the fact that Sterling has made it to where he is, one of the best players in the Premier League and on the English national team, is remarkable given how he got there. Check out his story in his words on the Players Tribune.

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