FIFA World Cup: Semifinal Primer

With less than a week left of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, just 4 teams remain: France, Belgium, Croatia, and England.

Let’s take a quick look at what to expect in these riveting semifinal matchups.

Note: All odds according to Bovada.


France v. Belgium

In the tournament’s most exciting matchup yet, we have to cherish the class on the pitch that lays before our eyes. Both sides are full of world class players.

France will be happy to play against anyone other than Uruguay’s relentless pressing. Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, and Kylian Mbappe should have much more freedom to play their creative brand of football.

However, Belgium’s attacking front is one of the scariest in world football. Romelu Lukaku looks like a human battering ram with the ball at his feet. Eden Hazard and half-man/half-wizard Kevin De Bruyne have the quality to change a match with one touch of the ball. If KDB can break loose from  France’s N’Golo Kante, Belgium should have some success in attack.

Prediction: France 3, Belgium 2

Odds: France +155, Belgium +195, Draw +215

Croatia v. England

Is football actually coming home? The phrase “football’s coming home” originated in a 1998 song by an English rock band called The Lightning Seeds. The phrase started as a joke but as the Three Lions inch closer to the final, English hopefuls have a sense of belief that football just might make its way home.

The sturdy Croatian side that has made it this far has done so primarily because of it’s quality defence.  They just don’t seem to be banging home the goals the same way they did in the group stage. Two straight wins decided from the spot will surely leave them too gassed to make it to the final.

Prediction: England 2, Croatia 1

Odds: England +130, Croatia +250, Draw +210

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