FIFA World Cup Croatia Vs England Semi Finals: Betting Preview
Every FIFA World Cup delivers a dark horse team that seemingly comes out of nowhere to make a deep run. This tournament has been a little different in that it has been the dark horses who have shined while the big guns were all sent home early. The surprising results in the 2018 version of the FIFA World Cup left us with a rather lopsided draw in the knockout rounds, with one side offering up a much clearer path to the final than the other. It is this strange set-up that has left us with a semi-final match-up that no-one really saw coming. There can be no denying that Croatia are a talented side, but they have made a habit of coming up short in the big tournaments. England are a team that always come in with huge expectations on their shoulders, but that was not the case this time around. They have one of the youngest squads in the tournament and were expected to fall at the Round of 16 stage. They are still alive, though, and are now just one win away from reaching the FIFA World Cup Final.
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⚽: Croatia Vs England (Semi-finals)
🏟️: Saint-Petersburg Stadium
⏰: Wednesday, July 11 at 2:00 PM EST
🎰: England pk, -½ -115 | +120 | O 2, +100
Why bet on Croatia
Croatia surprised us all right from the off, cutting a swathe through the group stage and winning all 3 of their games to move on to the next round. It was their 3-0 win over Argentina that really got football fans talking about this team, although that win may have been a little overblown when you consider just how poor Argentina were at this tournament. Still, with Croatia landing on the weaker side of the draw, the feeling was that they would roll to the final, but it has been tough going in the knockout phase. They were a goal down early to Denmark but hit back quickly before surviving all the way to a penalty shoot-out, which they won. They were forced to come from behind again in the quarter-finals against Russia, and then blew a lead in extra-time to once again go to penalties, which they once again survived. This team has ridden its luck a little, but can they do it once more?
Why bet on England
England have not been the most exciting team to watch at this tournament, but they have been perhaps the most opportunistic. They only managed two shots on target against Sweden in the quarter-final, scoring on both in a 2-0 win. That said, they need some heroic from Jordan Pickford in net to survive that one. They needed more of the same in their Round of 16 game against Colombia, which they won via the penalty shootout. England do have the benefit of having the top scorer in the tournament, with Harry Kane bagging 6 goals, 3 of which came from the spot. Sweden shut him down well in the last round, and if Croatia can do the same here, England might be in a spot of bother. On the plus side, they will be facing a team that has played extra-time in their last two games.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
I would not be at all surprised to see this one head to extra-time, as these two seem rather evenly matched. In the end, though, I think Croatia are just a little more talented, which is why I like them to win.
Predicted Score: Croatia 2 England 1