And then there were four.
After a grueling group stage, a round of 16 laden with down-to-the-wire finishes and a quarterfinals that were exhilarating to the end, only France, Belgium, England and Netherlands survive.
One of these four teams will come away with the 2018 World Cup title, but first things first: Each must compete in what’s sure to be a thrilling semifinals.
As we anxiously await these two contests, here is the semifinals schedule and Betting tips:
2018 World Cup Semifinals Schedule
Tuesday July 10
2000hrs France vs Belgium (Saint Petersburg Stadium)
Wednesday July 11
2000hrs Croatia vs England (Luzhniki Stadium)
France vs Belgium
It’s been quite a run for Belgium , however, the odds are stacked against it in the semifinals.
Belgium are riding on an impressive 24 match unbeaten run and still maintain a 100% World Cup record having won all their 3 Group stage matches.
The Red devils believe this is their time to lift the trophy given the galaxy of stars and talent in their team. With an attack led by number 10 Hazard with Lukaku upfront, Belgium always look assured for goals and rightfully so are the highest scoring team so far in the tournament.
Meanwhile, France will certainly be no pushers. The French side is equally talented and also brings a very attack minded side. With speedy winger Kylian Mbappe and veteran Antoine Griezmann alongside a stingy defensive midfielder in Ngolo Kante who has partnered well with Paul Pogba in the Middle of the Park.
I predict a 2 nil win for France.
Belgium to win: 3.2
France and Belgium to draw after 90 minutes: 3.3
Croatia vs England
The youthful England side has surprised many neutral soccer fans. Not many gave them a chance but the youngest team at the tournament is now just one hurdle away to reach the final.
England team to the World Cup led by only superstar Harry Kane who leads the tournament scoring chart has exceeded expectations of yester year squads that had the likes of Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerard, David Beckham and so many more.
Under coach Gareth Southgate, England always look threatening as the man has instilled a compact teamwork approach.
Though the odds will lie against them, I back England to go all the way to the final, likely in a penalty shoot-out lottery.
Croatia will however enter the match as favourites. The Croats have arguable the best midfield combination led by diminutive and versatile skipper Luka Modric alongside Barcelona man Ivan Rakitic. Upfront Mandzukic always look threatening for goals.
Expect an exciting fixture, but with Modric commanding so much attention from opposing defenses, scoring opportunities will be more plentiful for the Croats—and they’ll take full advantage.
England to win: 2.56
Croatia to win: 3.16
England and Croatia to draw after 90 minutes: 3.4