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Dele Alli insists he is fully fit for England’s quarter-final clash with Sweden

The Sun

Tottenham star was back in starting line-up for Colombia win after missing Panama and Belgium games with a thigh injury, but did not look fully fit and was taken off after 81 minutes.

Dele Alli insists he is fully fit and believes the best is still to come from him and England’s “exciting” side.

The Tottenham midfielder missed the Three Lions’ group games with Panama and Belgium after injuring his thigh in their opening win over Tunisia.

But Alli, 22, lasted 81 minutes on his return to England’s starting line-up in their last-16 penalty shoot-out victory over Colombia.

And despite appearing to still be troubled by his thigh problem during the match in Moscow, the Spurs star said: “I was disappointed to get injured but I didn’t feel the injury against Colombia.

“I feel good. The injury is fine.

“It is a quick turnaround before Sweden but we are used to it playing in the Premier League. “There are a lot of games but we all feel fit, we all feel good.”

Alli also reckons England are still developing as a team and can raise their game for Saturday’s quarter-final.

He said: “We are not perfect, we know that. But we are growing together.

“We are improving each game and learning new things.

“It is exciting that we are a young team that are still improving, but we are still playing well.”

Alli was not on the pitch by the time the penalty shoot-out came around.

But his Spurs team-mates all slotted their spot-kicks – Harry Kane, Kieran Trippier and then his best mate Eric Dier, who scored the winner.

Alli added: “They all put them away so it was a good night for us!

“I was very happy for Eric. He’s a very close friend of mine and when it’s your friend stepping up, it’s nerve-wracking but he slotted it away so I’m happy.

“I was very confident. He has got great technique and I’ve seen him practising them.”

Meanwhile, Harry Maguire reckons England are ready to seize their best chance of winning a tournament in a generation.

Despite being inexperienced, the Leicester City defender in his ninth game for his country says the squad are well aware of the opportunity which has presented itself now they have reached the quarter-finals.

He said:”There were a lot of questions about us, we are a young team, we haven’t got that experience.

“But we are hungry, we are fearless and the boys have shown great character.

“To win on penalties has given us great belief to go far in this tournament. It’s really big.

“Over the past few years you’ve seen us struggle to win knock-out games and penalty shoot-outs, but we’ve now changed that and we can take confidence into the next game.

“Is this our best chance to win a tournament? Definitely.

“We are in the quarter-finals and that’s not happened recently so we know we have a good chance.

“The pressure might become more but we are all ready for it.

“We are all young and we are all ready for it.”

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