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Thirty Million People Are Expected To Tune In For England v Sweden On Saturday

Thirty Million People Are Expected To Tune In For England v Sweden On Saturday

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you might have noticed that it's coming home. It bloody well is, so let's get used to it.

As you'd expect, the English people are grouping together with the sort of fervour rarely seen outside of national celebrations such as royal weddings, murders in Coronation Street or someone really annoying advancing on The X Factor, with millions uniting around the World Cup progress of the Three Lions.

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Now, with a crunch quarter-final match against flat-packing enthusiasts Sweden on Saturday afternoon, the nation is preparing to park their arses in front of the telly for one of the great communal events of our time.

Gareth Southgate orders his takeaway for half-time. Image: BBC
Gareth Southgate orders his takeaway for half-time. Image: BBC

An estimated 30 million people - that's roughly 60 percent of the population of England - will sit down to watch the match on Saturday, with some having to go to amazing lengths to see the game.

The middle of the afternoon on a summer Saturday is prime wedding time, so you can expect hundreds of couples up and down England to be having a very serious discussion now about what to do.

Postponement probably isn't an option (or at least, is an option that is likely to turn into a permanent postponement) so TVs will be positioned around the land in what were previously intended to be classy drinks receptions. Maybe even one or two in churches, if they can get away with it.

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"OK England, you're starting to worry me now," wrote one bride-to-be, Jodie Houlston from Lincolnshire, on Twitter. "If your kicking a ball around a bit of grass upstages me on my wedding day I may have to have the first diva strop of my life."

LGBT Pride is also due to take place in London and the centre of the city is ready to party, with organisers considering erecting large screens for revellers to watch the match alongside the parade.

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Naturally, the big winners of this England World Cup run are not the players and fans, but instead the publicans, telly bosses and supermarket owners.

It is thought that eight million pints will be bought on Saturday, making £24m ($31.8m) in extra profits for landlords, while the 30m viewers on ITV will surely boost their advertising sales.

Already, supermarkets have announced record sales of tinnies, barbecue meats, ice cream and salads, some of which were presumably eaten by someone somewhere.

"It's fantastic news for pubs and fans that England are in their first World Cup quarter-final since 2006," Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, told the Sun.

"What better place is there to enjoy the game this Saturday afternoon than at the Great British pub?

"We fully expect the nation to pack out their local this weekend to soak up the sunshine and get behind England."

It's gonna be 30 degrees, England are playing in the World Cup quarter-final and we're all going to be steaming.

Bring it on.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Russia 2018, England, World Cup

Mike Wood

Mike Meehall Wood is a freelance journalist and translator. He writes for LADbible, VICE and countless sports publications, focusing on rugby league, football and boxing. He is a graduate of Leeds University and maintains a fizzy pop obsession. Contact Mike at [email protected]