FIFA World Cup 2018: Semifinals!

It is time for semifinals in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In this post we take a look on the results of the quarterfinals, and predict the outcomes of the semifinals.

Tuesday July 10: France vs Belgium

The French team, “Les Bleus”,  has been a bit of an outsider in the talk before the World Cup, but now they have reached the semifinal after winning their group, and then eliminating Lionel Messi’s Argentina in the Round of 16, followed up by a 2-0 win in the quarterfinal against Uruguay. France has a very talented squad, one example being 19 year old Kylian Mbappé Lottin, who scored two goals in the round of 16. They can very well go all the way in this tournament, but to do so, they need to find a way to stop Belgium. Belgium won their group before England, and managed to turn 0-2 into a 3-2 win on stop time against Japan in the round of 16. In the quarterfinal, they outmaneuvered one of the beforehand favorites, Brazil, with superstar Neymar Jr, 2-1.

This semifinal is difficult, if not impossible to predict. Both teams have shown efficiency in their offense, however, some gaps persists in their defenses (France gave up three goals in the round of 16, Belgium two). Whatever team manages to combine their offense with a disciplined defensive game will win this game and advance to the 2018 FIFA World Cup final.

Wednesday July 11: Croatia – England

Croatia played a convincing game in the group stage, turning predictions to their favor, especially since they are in the half of the playoff tree that is considered to be “weaker”. However, they have struggled so far, winning two tight games (round of 16: Denmark, quarterfinal: Russia) after penalties. We do not think that is enough against England, who are getting better and better as the tournament progresses. England managed to get rid of their “penalty ghost” after winning a dirty game against Colombia in the round of 16. The shootout win made the “Lions” come out as a whole new team against Sweden in the quarterfinals, efficiently and relentlessly mowing down the blue and yellow defenses. The final scored was written 2-0.

The losing teams will face each other in the bronze game July 14, and the final is played Sunday July 15.