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World Cup 2018 Semi-finals preview

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Out of the 32 teams that started the tournament, only four sides remain in the chase for the 2018 FIFA World Cup glory with Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s semi-finals lined-up to determine who will play in the final come 15th July.

France Vs Belgium
In the quarter-finals, France overcame a tough opponent in Uruguay winning 2-0 with goals from Raphael Varane and Antoinne Griezmann while Belgium outclassed Brazil in a 2-1 victory to reach semis for first time in 32 years.

Belgian Red Devils are the leading scoring team in Russia with 14 goals in five World Cup matches. They have produced nine different scorers at this year’s World Cup. Only Italy in 2006 (10) was the last team to produce more scorers at a single tournament.

The last time France and Belgium played each other was on 7 June 2015 at the Stade de France outside Paris. The Red Devils won 4-3.

Coach Didier Deschamps looks forward to win the World Cup as a head coach after winning it as a player. He was the captain when France won the 1998 World Cup. If he wins it, he will join Mário Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer who have won both as a player and coach.

Belgian defender Thomas Meunier will be suspended for the semifinal due to accumulation of bookings.

With yellow cards now wiped in the semi-finals, nobody will receive a suspension for the World Cup final unless they are sent off.

The match will be played in Saint Petersburg Stadium.

Head-to-head: France 24 wins, Belgium 30 wins, 19 draws.
Possible lineups:
France: Lloris (GK), Parvard, Umtiti, Varane, Hernandez, Pogba, Kante, Mbappe, Griezmann, Giroud.
Belgium: Courtois (GK), Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Kompany, Boyata, Witsel, Fellaini, Hazard, De Bruyne, Lukaku, Mertens.

England Vs Croatia
England defeated Sweden 2-0 with goals from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli to reach a world cup semi-final for first time in 28 years while Croatia won their second consecutive shootout against hosts Russia to reach final four.

Croatians were the dark horses of the tournament, but they rely on their golden talent of Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic, Perisic, Mandzukic and Ivan Rakitic and see this a perfect chance for them to win the World Cup.

Croatia’s most historical campaign at the world cup was in France 1998 when they finished in third place and their striker Davor Šuker was the top scorer with 6 goals.

England’s Harry Kane is still the top scorer with six goals, making him the favourite to end the tournament with the golden boot. Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku trails him on four goals.

The match will be played in Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow.
Possible lineups:
England: Pickford (GK), Walker, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Henderson, Alli, Lingard, Young, Sterling, Kane
Croatia: Subasic (GK), Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic, Rakitic, Modric, Rebic, Kramaric, Perisic, Mandzukic.
Head-to-head: England 4 wins, Croatia 2 wins, 1 draw.

The winners in the two semi-finals will meet on Sunday, 15 July 2018 in Moscow.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018
France Vs Belgium (9pm)
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
England Vs Croatia (9pm)

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