Published on by Darren8196 7 Comments Updated on
We are down to the last four teams of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with each team having two games left to play before Sunday ends and the winner is decided.
Let's get to the matches:
France v Belgium
This looks set to be one of the games of the tournament, France were seen as one of the pre-tournament favourites, while Belgium one of the dark horses who were looking to meet the expectations put on them with such a star-studded squad.
France cruised past a Uruguay side that was clearly missing Cavani, with Mbappe once again causing problems for the opposition defence. Their attackers finally seem to have clicked and found their rhythm after a slow start to the tournament, while the confidence Deschamps has placed in Pavard filling in at right back has been paying off with some impressive performances from the 22 year old.
Belgium quickly showed that they had put their struggle against Japan behind them as they cruised to a 2-0 lead over Brazil. Although Brazil did get back into the game, Belgium were able to hold on to seal one of the biggest wins in recent years. Changing from their usual three at the back formation, with Lukaku operating almost as a winger, they showed that they are unpredictable and operate in various ways to get a vital victory. They will be without roaming wing back Meunier, who picked up a second booking of the tournament in their win over Brazil, meaning he is suspended for this game.
With both teams likely to be at full strength, it’s a very tough one to call, with both teams' star players seeming to have a lot of freedom to play and rotate amongst themselves. I feel like France are slight favourites with the strength in their squad, and although Belgium may feel like they have the edge if they get off to a quick start like they did against Brazil, I’m going with France for the win.
My Prediction: France win
Match played: Tuesday 10th, 3:00 p.m. (BST) / 10:00 a.m. (EST)
England v Croatia
Could it actually be coming home? After another win over a very poor Sweden side, the Three Lions have reached the last four for just the third time in their history, winning one and losing the other. With Trippier’s constant threat down the right wing combining with Kane’s experience and Lingard, Alli and Sterling’s constant running, they have caused problems to every team they have faced.
Croatia had to play an extra 30 minutes and endure the stress of a penalty shootout for the second round in a row after they played out a 2-2 draw with Russia. However, that momentum and adrenaline may help them push through and recover from the big win ahead of their second semi-final in just their fifth time making it to the World Cup finals. With Modrić playing his heart out and aiming to become just the fourth player ever to win both the World Cup and Champions League in the same year, Croatia will be aiming to reach their first ever final as their golden generation looks like it is coming to an end.
England are the slight bookies favourites, and their fans will no doubt be wanting to reach their first final in over 50 years, and although I have a sneaking feeling that Croatia may edge this, I’m going with an England win.
My Prediction: England win
Match played: Friday 6th, 7:00 p.m. (BST) / 2:00 p.m. (EST)
So that’s what I think will happen in the semifinals, as we move into the real business end of the World Cup.
As always, good luck and happy predicting!