World Cup Predictions 2018: Latest Odds and Projections for Semi-Finals

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IJuly 9, 2018

England's forward Harry Kane applauds at the end of the Russia 2018 World Cup quarter-final football match between Sweden and England at the Samara Arena in Samara on July 7, 2018. (Photo by Yuri CORTEZ / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS        (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
YURI CORTEZ/Getty Images

The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia has reached the semi-final stage, with France set to face Belgium, and Croatia taking on England.

The winners of the two matches will meet in Sunday's final at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow where they will battle it out for the trophy.

Here's a look at the latest semi-final odds courtesy of OddsShark.

      

World Cup Semi-Finals Odds

France (7-5), Draw (43-20), Belgium (41-20)

Croatia (2-1), Draw (11-5), England (69-50)

       

France go into Tuesday's first semi-final against Belgium as slight favourites for victory.

Didier Deschamps' side topped Group C without really impressing, but knockout wins over Argentina and Uruguay have since highlighted their quality.

Nineteen-year-old striker Kylian Mbappe put in an eye-catching display in the thrilling 4-3 victory over Argentina, and France followed that up with a 2-0 win over a tough Uruguay team.

Les Bleus have real quality in attack with Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud, and they are ably backed up by a strong midfield that contains Paul Pogba and N'Golo Kante.

Goal's Ben Hayward said they have the best squad in the World Cup:

France seem to be growing into the tournament, and there's a sense they have not quite reached top form yet. If they do manage to find another level against Belgium, they will take some stopping.

Yet Roberto Martinez's side have already knocked out tournament favourites Brazil, and they will feel they have little to fear from any of the teams left in the competition.

The Red Devils also have a squad packed full of talent, and Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku will test a defence that conceded three goals against Argentina.

Belgium's win over Brazil was their best performance of the World Cup and suggested the current golden generation is finally ready to deliver at a major tournament.

Martinez tweaked his tactics against the Selecao by bringing in Nacer Chadli and Marouane Fellaini, which allowed De Bruyne more freedom to attack.

He will have to change his team again for the clash with France, though, as right-back Thomas Meunier is suspended.

Newry Reporter sports editor Gareth McCullough said the Paris Saint-Germain man will be missed:

Martinez will need to get his selection right on Tuesday as Belgium come up against a dangerous French attack. The game has all the makings of a classic between two teams packed with attacking talent.

The second semi-final between Croatia and England looks to be a tighter affair, with the Three Lions the favourites to qualify for the final for the first time since 1966.

Gareth Southgate has picked a young and inexperienced squad, and after finishing behind Belgium in Group G, they have made it to the last four with wins over Colombia and Sweden.

England's attacking strength has come from set pieces, where defenders Harry Maguire and John Stones have been a threat along with tournament top scorer Harry Kane.

Match of the Day showed how effective England are from such situations:

Croatia will need to be wary of England at corners and free-kicks, but they also have players who look capable of giving Southgate's defence their most serious test of the tournament.

Real Madrid's Luka Modric will look to orchestrate proceedings from midfield along with Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic.

Opta showed how Modric fared against Russia in the quarter-finals on Saturday:

In attack, Mario Mandzukic, Ante Rebic and Ivan Perisic are tough, experienced competitors who have the quality to trouble England's defence. 

Croatia have been forced into extra-time and penalties in their last two matches, and England will be hoping fatigue may play a part to help tip the tie in their favour.

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