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croatia18Croatia and England contest the second of the World Cup 2018 semi finals, Moscow is the venue for Wednesday night’s game and England start as favourites.

 

 

 

Outright Betting Update:

We are down to the final 4 teams and coming into the first semi final France are favourites to go on to lift the trophy at around 2/1, England are trading in the region of 5/2 with Belgium 28/10 and Croatia 4/1. If you want to take any of those prices then be sure to get your bets on before the France v Belgium semi final which takes place 24 hours before this game.

 

Croatia:

Quarter Finals: Croatia ended the hopes of host nation Russia in the quarter finals. The game finished all square at 1-1 at the end of regulation time and it was 2-2 after extra time before Croatia held their nerve to win the penalty shoot out 4-3. Another 2 names were added to the goal scorers list in this tournament as they came from 1-0 down to lead 2-1 before being pegged back in the closing moments.

Last 16: Croatia also earned their quarter final place via a penalty shoot out. They came up against Denmark in the first knockout round and fell behind in the opening minute before equalizing with just 4 minutes on the clock in an electric start to the game. Thereafter the match was low on chances and it was 1-1 at the end of regulation and extra time. The shoot out was another thriller with Croatia prevailing 3-2.

Group Stage: Croatia topped Group D ahead of Argentina with Nigeria and Iceland missing out. They won all 3 of their matches scoring a total of 7 goals and conceding just the one.

Croatia started with a 2-0 win over Nigeria and next up they sealed their play off spot with a fine 3-0 win over Argentina, scoring all of their goals in the second half. Their final match against Iceland delivered a 2-1 win and of their 7 goals scored in the group stage, 6 came in the second half.

Goalscorers

Modric 2 (1 pen)

Kramaric 1

Vida 1

Mandzukic 1

Rebic 1

Rakitic 1

Badelj 1

Perisic 1

Own goal 1

 

England:

Quarter Finals: England were paired with Sweden in the last 8 and although goalkeeper Jordan Pickford enhanced his reputation still further with a couple of excellent saves, England were full value for a comfortable 2-0 win in 90 minutes. This will be England’s first World Cup semi final since 1990 and the clean sheet against the Swede’s was their first of the tournament.

Last 16: England finally cracked a penalty shoot out win in a major finals when they held their nerve to beat Colombia. England should probably have won the game in regulation time but they couldn’t add to 57th minute penalty and they conceded in injury time as Colombia rallied late on to make it 1-1. Extra time passed without a goal and although England had 1 penalty saved, Colombia failed twice.

Group Stage: England sealed qualification with victory in their first 2 Group G matches and they eventually finished as runners up to Belgium. An injury time goal saw off Tunisia (2-1) and they followed up by thrashing Panama 6-1 with 5 goals arriving in the first half. A number of players were rested for their final group match which saw England lose 1-0 to a much changed Belgium side.

Goalscorers

Kane 6 (2 pens)

Stones 2

Maguire 1

Ali 1

Lingard 1

 

Recent Head to Head

09/09/09 WCQ England 5-1 Croatia

10/09/08 WCQ Croatia 1-4 England

21/11/07 EURQ England 2-3 Croatia

11/10/06 EURQ Croatia 2-0 England

 

The Betting - Bet Now

Match Result: (90 minutes)

Croatia 5/2

Draw 41/20

England 13/10

Note, odds quoted are an approximate average and are correct at the time of last update but are subject to change

 

Verdict:

Much will be made of Croatia’s exploits in penalty shoot outs in the 2 earlier knockout rounds and whether their exertions in extra time will catch up with them but England also went the distance in the Round of 16 before a more comfortable quarter final.

I’m open minded about the result but I think we will see goals and 2-3 in total has arrived in 90 minutes of both matches these sides contested in earlier knockout rounds.

 

Bets: 90 minutes, total goals, 2-3 at 19/20

 

forumRemember you can have your own say on all this week’s matches on our discussion forum