Betting guide for both semifinal matches, France-Belgium and Croatia-England

Croatian players celebrate during a shootout against Russia in the quarterfinals

Croatia are a risky side who do not possess a prolific striker like Harry Kane, instead they have two of the most skilful midfielders at the World Cup.

"Croatia will be very exhausted".

Gareth Southgate's side needed a penalty shootout to overcome Colombia in the round of 16.

Having played every game so far, Croatia will have to adjust to life without Vrsaljko and it could be a situation that England takes advantage of in preparations leading up to Wednesday's game.

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Eamon Dunphy believes England will beat Croatia and gives Belgium "a great chance" against France in the World Cup semi-finals.

Going past the Croatian dressing room, on the way to the mixed zone here at the Fischt Stadium on Saturday night, one could hear them celebrating inside.

Yet, France still is missing that go-to striker as the World Cup enters its decisive stages - Olivier Giroud, a favorite of head coach Didier Deschamps, failed to score or register a shot on goal in France's five World Cup games so far. Croatia's most memorable victory over the Three Lions was the 3-2 win in 2009 at Wembley when Niko Kranjcar, Ivica Olic and Mladen Petric scored to knock England out of qualifying for Euro 2008. It has also been 52 years since England have become the world champions.

On a scorching Saturday that saw England advance further in the World Cup than the home of the handsome game has since 1990 and Croatia take down a dynamo, Russian Federation was on seemingly everyone's lips yesterday - and we don't mean Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation of Donald Trump and the adjoining array of Congressional committees.

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"They have the likes of Luka Modric in the team - he's a fantastic player - but they have other players around the squad that are going to be hard opponents". This side will want to etch themselves into the history books by beating Croatia. Against Sweden, the difference in quality was obvious. "England will beat them".

"The good thing is Pickford has made important saves at the right times".

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.

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

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England will take on Sweden in Samara at 3pm on Saturday, July 7 followed by Russian Federation vs Croatia in Sochi at 7pm. And on that basis, the golazos so far at the 2018 World Cup are certainly up there with those at any previous tournament.


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