World Cup semi-final doubles: Our tips for the last four
Our tips for France v Belgium and Croatia v England include plenty of goals, with two players who have already struck twice each finding the net.
Belgium to win –
Belgium have been arguably the most impressive attacking side at the World Cup so far. They have scored in every game, including twice against a Brazil side that had conceded just one goal in their previous nine matches.
The Red Devils’ win over Japan in the round of 16 was their only blip so far, but even in that game they battled back to win 3-2 after falling two goals behind early in the second half.
France played well to beat Uruguay in the quarter-finals, but they’ve been inconsistent throughout this tournament and struggled to make the most of their attacking talent, particularly in the group stage.
Croatia and England to draw –
Croatia’s two knockout games have both gone to penalties, and an extra half an hour is again likely in this semi-final tie.
England saw off Sweden relatively comfortably on Saturday but needed 120 minutes and a shootout in the previous round to beat Colombia – a side of similar quality to Croatia.
That Zlatko Dalic’s side have not been at their best this summer but have still made it this far suggests they won’t be easily turned over by the Three Lions.
France v Belgium: Yes –
Belgium have scored 14 goals in their five World Cup games so far, and will surely find the net against France on Tuesday.
Roberto Martinez’s side have also looked vulnerable at the back, conceding two goals against both Tunisia and Japan and another against Brazil last week.
France have found form going forward in the knockout rounds with six goals in their last two matches, and are worth backing to get on the scoresheet.
Croatia v England: Yes –
Croatia have scored in every game at this World Cup, including twice on Saturday.
They have also failed to keep a clean sheet in their last three matches, conceding against Iceland, Denmark and Russia.
England have been dominant from set pieces throughout the tournament and should get on the scoresheet. Goals at the other end look likely, too, given that Gareth Southgate’s side have kept just one clean sheet so far.
Eden Hazard -
Hazard scored twice against Panama in the group stage and has been excellent in both of his knockout games so far.
The Chelsea forward has taken more shots than any other Belgian player at this World Cup.
John Stones -
Croatia let in a Mario Fernandes header from a free kick in their last game against Russia, and will struggle to keep out an England side that have been consistently dangerous from set pieces.
Stones grabbed two goals and an assist from set pieces in England's first two games of the tournament, and should be a threat again on Wednesday.
*Odds subject to change.
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