Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

These are the semi-final matchups at the FIFA World Cup (SCHEDULE)


Furthermore, uproar over a politically charged video defender Domagoj Vida and assistant coach Ognjen Vukojevic recorded following the quarterfinal win over Russian Federation prompted the latter's firing just two days before Croatia's semifinal clash with England.

Fellow-forward Andrej Kramaric, who had a brief stint at surprise 2016 Premier League champions Leicester and is now at Germany's Hoffenheim, said he had a lot of respect for England but also hoped Croatia could make the final as the smallest-ever nation.

While England fans may already be thinking "it's halfway home" after getting a supposedly easy half of the draw on the way to the FIFA World Cup 2018, Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic has warned that they may have another thing coming. The magnitude of this match could unsettle any side, but Croatia seem to know what they are doing, even though they were far from wonderful against Denmark and Russian Federation.

France, looking for their second World Cup triumph following their victory at home in 1998, will play a risky Belgium side in Tuesday's first semi-final. The match between Belgium and France is expected to bring some awesome football, as two sides are stuffed with high quality players.

Sterling celebrates with his teammates during England's win over Sweden.

Meanwhile, five of England's goals have been headers, also tying the record for a single World Cup since 1966.

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Vedran Corluka Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Ivica Olic, who is an assistant coach in Russian Federation, were all part of that win in London 11 years ago.

"But we believe in our strengths", said Dalic. This side will want to etch themselves into the history books by beating Croatia. It was Colombia first who was beaten in the shoot-out, showing to the world that this is a new team. England's 3-5-2 seems to be working so far.

This choice of personnel, along with wide players Ivan Perisic and Ante Rebic, would create a four-man front for England and could trouble their back three in transition should Modric pounce and exploit the spaces in behind Kieran Trippier and Ashley Young.

The joy is etched across the faces of the players and manager Gareth Southgate and his No 2 Steve Holland joined in the fun at their Repino training base as Kyle Walker took on the "forfeit tunnel" with blows raining down on him.

Here are the best bets for both matches in the semifinals.

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