England is looking to get to its second World Cup Final, and potentially claim its second victory, against Croatia on Wednesday. The Three Lions boast the player that is the favorite to win the Golden Boot in Harry Kane, and they have a bevy of other talented players that have made their mark in Russia. However, Croatia will be no pushover. The Croatians were a sneaky pick to win it all before the start of the tournament, and they are a side with nothing to lose at this point.
The most anticipated sporting event in the world comes around once every four years, so don’t miss any of the 2018 World Cup. This match will take place at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow at 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday, July 11, 2018. Catch every moment of the match live on FOX.
World Cup Semifinals Betting Odds at BookMaker.eu
Croatia was one of the most impressive teams at the World Cup in the Group Stage. The Croatians were able to top a group that included Nigeria, Argentina, and Iceland with dominant performances in all three matches. They have proved that their success was no fluke either with their run to the Semifinals.
In the Round of 16, Croatia was able to outlast Denmark in penalty kicks. Danijel Subasic came up big for the Croatians throughout the shootout in order to give them a date in the Quarterfinals with Russia. Both Croatia and Russia advanced to the Quarterfinals through penalties, so it was only fitting that their match go to penalties as well. Although Croatia was able to score off of a Domagoj Vida header in extra time, Russia leveled shortly before the end of the extra frame to send the match to penalties. There, Subasic again came up huge in the moment, fighting through cramps to get a key stop.
England’s path to this point has been full of ups and downs. England is the only team in the Semifinals with a loss on its resume, but that loss gave them an easier draw after they had already clinched a spot in the knockout stages.
The Three Lions needed penalties to get past Colombia, but they were much more convincing in their win over Sweden. Harry Maguire scored off of a header in the 30th minute to give England a 1-0 win, and Dele Alli essentially sealed the deal with a header of his own in the 58th minute.
Matchup to Watch
For England, the story of the World Cup has been their success on set pieces. England has scored 11 goals in their five matches, and a whopping eight of those have come from set pieces.
Their size has a lot to do with it. England has largely faced back lines that don’t have the same size and strength that they boast. Positioning might be the more important factor though. A number of the goals have been clean headers off of a spot kick, and those are relatively simple for professional players. Croatia’s coaching staff must find a way to stop England’s players from getting open.
Fatigue may be an issue for Croatia after going 120-plus minutes in back-to-back games. Multiple players were cramping up throughout extra time against Russia, with Subasic repeatedly succumbing to cramps and having limited mobility throughout the frame. With only a few days to rest, they probably can’t afford to have another match go to extra time.
Free Soccer Betting Pick
This will be the match where Gareth Southgate’s faith in Raheem Sterling pays dividends. Sterling has struggled mightily at the World Cup, missing multiple goal scoring opportunities. However, his pace and positioning have been on point and it’s only a matter of time before he cashes those chances in. Look for Sterling to notch the first goal in an English win.
World Cup Semifinals Odds: England 2, Croatia 0
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