2018 FIFA World Cup Semi-Finals

We are now down to the Final Four in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The Quarterfinals saw Brazil, Russia, Sweden, and Uruguay all eliminated.  Brazil is a five time winner of the tournament, while Uruguay is a two time winner.  Russia is the host country.

For the first time since the 2006 World Cup, all four teams remaining are European teams, and include two former champions (England and France.)

Let’s take a look at the Semifinals:

Belgium vs. France.  Belgium is ranked third in the world and knocked off five time winners, Brazil (currently the second ranked team in the world.)  France, the winners of the World Cup 20 years ago, knocked off Uruguay.  France has five Top Four finishes (1st place in 1998, 2nd place in 2006, 3rd place in 1958 and 1986, and 4th place in 1982.)   Belgium has only reached the Semifinals once before, back in 1986 when they finished in fourth place (and ironically lost to France in the third place game.)  Belgium is undefeated at the World Cup, winning all five games they have played so far.  Look for Belgium to win in a close game.

Croatia vs. England.  Croatia is the 20th ranked team in the world, while England is ranked 12th.  England won the World Cup in 1966 and Croatia is looking for their first title.  England has only reached the Semifinals twice – winning in 1966 and finishing in fourth place in 1990.  This is Croatia’s second appearance in the Semifinals – ultimately finishing in third place in 1998.  Look for England to book their ticket to the finals.

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