“IT’S coming home”.

Fans up and down the county are gripped with World Cup fever as England prepare to face up to Croatia in the national side’s biggest game since 1990.

This evening, Gareth Southgate’s team will take to the turf in Moscow, as pubs, clubs and restaurants prepare for scores of people across Southampton to flood in front of big screens to get a glimpse of the action.

One of those includes The Bedford Arms, with staff cheering on the side to reach the World Cup Final on Sunday. Hampshire police have warned supporters that though they realise emotions can run high, they shouldn’t put themselves or anyone else at risk.

Highways England have said that roads will be easier to travel on due to fans being parked in front of their television instead, and the town centre manager for Romsey has said that tonight will be a “fantastic boost” to the hospitality sector.

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Despite the lack of a big screen for Southampton – much to fans’ disappointment – optimism is high as England play in their first World Cup semi-final since 1990, in the hopes of reaching the first final since 1966.

Those at The Bedford Arms are just some ready to cheer on the national side.

Police have warned that they will be continuing to evaluate the threat to communities throughout the World Cup, and that tonight will be no different.

A statement from Hampshire Constabulary said: “We know that emotions can run high around football matches and we want everyone to be able to enjoy themselves safely, so we would like to remind people to not put themselves or anyone else at risk – we do not want celebrations ending with anyone getting hurt. We will continue to evaluate the threat, harm and risk posed to our communities throughout the World Cup. We have officers working 12 hour shifts to ensure resilience is maintained.”

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Fears have grown as supporters climbed up on buses in the centre of Southampton following England’s 2-0 quarter-final win over Sweden on Saturday.

Despite that, Romsey’s town centre manager Mark Edgerley said whatever the outcome, the run to the semi-final has been a much-needed lift for hostelries across Hampshire.

He said: “The streets will be empty until I hope the celebrations begin after the final whistle. This unexpected mid-week boost to trading will in some circumstances stretch staffing resources especially as many pubs are struggling to recruit staff at this time.”