ENGLAND fans have already packed out pubs ahead of tonight’s World Cup clash against Senegal.
Supporters are out in force across the country to cheer the Three Lions on in their first knockout match of the tournament.
Scores of football nuts dressed in red and white are in prime position at a Wetherspoon’s at London Victoria.
And Newcastle’s Central Park fan zone is filling up – despite the game not kicking off until 7pm.
Boozers will sink 15 million for the occasion, the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has estimated.
And a staggering £22million will be spent in the nation’s pubs, and up to £175m in supermarkets for matchday essentials, according to experts at vouchercodes.co.uk.
Matt Todd, who runs the Wonston Arms in the village of Wonston, Hampshire, said a successful England World Cup run is like an “early Christmas present” for small venues.
The 54-year-old, who had a difficult period during the pandemic, told MailOnline: “The World Cup is running over what would normally be our quietest weeks of the year.
“The first three England games saw our sales 320 per cent up on this time last year.
“A good cup run will mean tills ringing louder and longer for me as a publican.”
Emma McClarkin, BBPA chief executive, said: “Pubs were hoping for a boost to business during this World Cup and so far, the beer has been flowing, and fans have been showing up to cheer on England.
“The tournament has been filling up pubs on days that otherwise might be quieter, and we’re hoping that trend continues in the next couple of weeks.”
Gareth Southgate’s side bounced back from their goalless draw with the United States to thrash Wales 3-0.
Through to the last 16, they face AFCON champions Senegal at 7pm UK time.
Supporters are confident of an “easy” win against the Lions of Teranga, with some already looking ahead to a potential quarter-final clash with France.
The UK ambassador to Senegal said the two nations are united in their “passion for football”, describing the African country as “about as football mad, if not more, than the UK is”.
‘WE’RE GOING TO WIN IT’
England fans are supporting their side from home and around the world, including more than 2,700 miles away in host nation Qatar.
At the Cabana Hop Garden in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Doha, excitable followers are gearing up for the challenge.
Hayden Smith, 27, from Essex, said: “I’m really nervous for the game.
“I want to get it done, get through to the quarters and beat France as well.”
Joe Parker, 26, also from Essex, who was enjoying a drink with his pal, was cautious, saying: “He thinks 4-0 but I think it’ll go to penalties.
“I’d be very nervous at that point.”
On England’s chances for the rest of the World Cup, the pair both said: “I think we’re going to win it.”
Flags from Carlisle to Plymouth and beyond were draped around the venue with a big screen.
Music blared through the speakers, including Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline and Rockin’ All Over the World by Status Quo.
If England win tonight, sick days are expected to double tomorrow on what is being dubbed as “hangover Monday”.
As many as two million employees could call in sick, while 17 million might ditch the office to work from home, data trends from BrightHR show.
Schools will also brace for bleary-eyed kids as bedtimes go out of the window to mark the occasion.
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