World Cup 2018 semi-finals: prediction, teams and start times

Telegraph Sport
The Telegraph
Can Harry Kane lead England to the World Cup final tonight? - PA
Can Harry Kane lead England to the World Cup final tonight? - PA

The 2018 World Cup, one of the great tournaments of recent times, is entering its final few days with three European nations remaining in a tournament that has captured the imagination. 

The worrying thought about what we will do with ourselves once it is over can wait, because two well-matched semi-finals await. 

After France edged Belgium on Tuesday evening, England play Croatia in their biggest match for a generation. It is England's first World Cup semi-final appearance since 1990 when they lost to West Germany on penalties. 

England eased through to the semis with a comfortable 2-0 win over Sweden while Croatia needed penalties to progress past host Russia. 

France took full advantage of an Edinson Cavani-less Uruguay, before tournament favourites Brazil were put to the sword by Belgium's incisive counter-attacking in a thrilling game in Kazan.  

England vs Sweden, player ratings

Germany, Spain, Argentina and Portugal are other nations who have fallen by the wayside in one of the most open and unpredictable tournaments in World Cup history. 

With 20 million people tuning in to watch England's win over Sweden, the country would reach fever pitch if Gareth Southgate's team get past Croatia and reach their first tournament final since 1966. 

Is it coming home?

Teams that reached the semi-finals

  • France (2-0 winners against Uruguay)

  • Belgium (2-1 winners against Brazil)

  • Croatia (winners on penalties against Russia after a 2-2 draw)

  • England (2-0 winners against Sweden)

Match dates and Sam Wallace's pre-match predictions

France vs Belgium - Tuesday 10 July - 7pm kick off

<span>Players of France celebrate after winning against Belgium in the World Cup 2018 final</span> <span>Credit: Getty Images </span>
Players of France celebrate after winning against Belgium in the World Cup 2018 final Credit: Getty Images

Will Belgium set up to counter attack again? Didier Deschamps has the time to work on a plan to beat that. France have more options than Brazil to counteract their threats. 

Prediction: France 3 Belgium 2 

Result: France 1 Belgium 0 

England vs Croatia - Wednesday 11 July - 7pm kick off

Croatia have to deal with playing 120 minutes against Russia on Saturday and, throughout this year's tournament, England have managed to find the right game plan when it mattered.  

Prediction: England 2 Croatia 1 

Who could play whom in the World Cup final?   

France vs England/Croatia. 

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