So, it happened. As many would have predicted, England’s many years of hurt continue, but in all fairness, Gareth Southgate’s side can hold their collective heads high after their unfortunate exit at the hands of France.
Now, when it comes to your World Cup betting journey, fortunately, this is still very much ongoing, and there are two cracking semi-finals to get stuck into. Here are some handy tips and bets we’d suggest you back at the football betting site of your choice.
Argentina vs Croatia
13th December, 7 pm
Lionel Messi’s dream of picking up the last remaining piece of major silverware missing from his trophy cabinet is beginning to become more tangible. When Argentina were stunned by Saudi Arabia in their opening group stage fixture, many rushed to write off Lionel Scaloni’s side, and they have done well to get back into gear with their captain has been key to that change in fortunes.
Their win over the Netherlands was tough and will have taken it out of the players, not just because of the physical strain of playing 120 minutes of high-tempo football but also due to the mental strains associated with that type of victory.
Argentina looked like they were set to ease into the World Cup semi-finals when Messi stroked home a second-half penalty to give the South American side a 2-0 lead, but then Wout Weghorst scored twice to take the game into extra-time and penalties.
It was a bad-tempered affair, and one imagines their clash with Croatia may be similarly hard-fought as Zlatko Dalic’s workmanlike side knows how to fight their corner.
The Croats remain undefeated, and they have proved very solid at the back, with Dalic’s team conceding just three goals in five games thus far. Croatia got to the final in 2018 and, in doing so, very much surprised pundits and fans alike, but once again, they’ve overachieved, and for many in their squad, this is very much the last chance saloon.
Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic, and Dejan Lovren, the three key players in the Croatian spine, have a combined total of over 350 national team caps, and they have the experience to overcome Argentina.
Keeper Dominik Livakovic has won many fans due to his penalty-saving exploits, and we wouldn’t bet against a similar outcome occurring at the Lusail Stadium.
BoyleSports are offering 9/1 on Croatia winning on penalties; take that bet!
CROATIA to cause an upset in a game that will go beyond 90 minutes.
France vs Morocco
14th December, 7 pm
The 2022 FIFA World Cup has been full of surprises, and these have extended beyond the group stage. The biggest shock of the tournament thus far is the ongoing progress of the Moroccan national team.
The Atlas Lions qualified top of a group that included both Belgium and Croatia and then followed that up by beating both Spain and Portugal, showing that Walid Regragui’s side is capable of beating the very best sides. Can they complete the biggest shock of them all when they take on France in Al Khor? It will be a tall order, but in many ways, the first African nation to ever make it to the World Cup semi-finals have literally nothing to lose at this stage.
Morocco are a very well drilled team and dangerous on the break; we are, after all, talking about a side that has conceded just one goal in the entire tournament, and it was an own goal.
France will, of course, be the big favourites, and both Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud will prove a big headache for the Moroccan back-line, and the smart money would be on Les Bleus making it to their second straight World Cup final, but one thing is for sure, most of the neutrals will be cheering for the underdogs in this clash.
Back Kylian Mbappe to score the first, and probably only, goal of the game and a France win double, 7/2 with Grosvenor Sports.
FRANCE to win by a single goal.