By Steve Dellar   |  07-07-2018   World Cup
Photo credit: the 18

After yesterday saw a (predictable) win for France over Uruguay and a (surprise) win for Belgium over Brazil, it is anyone’s guess how today will end for the teams facing each other as these are quite evenly matched. The football will be less technical and flowing to watch, but the stakes are far higher as these are four teams few expected to arrive in the semi-finals. After today, two of them will.

Let’s have a look at what we can expect.

<b>England – Sweden</b>

The English thought it best to lose their last group game against the Belgians at this world cup as they figured they would have an easier path to the semi-final that way. This Tuesday evening they needed a penalty shootout against the Colombians whilst the Belgians overcame Japan and (stunningly) knocked out Brazil yesterday evening to reach the semis.

Related coverage: https://thegoldwater.com/news/30476-World-Cup-England-Wonders-Whether-Football-Is-Really-Coming-Home-Video

Some in England are now already contemplating that it would be shameful to go out today against the tough Swedes if you could have played a quarter final for eternal glory against Brazil but so be it. The English are technically superior but the Swedes defend like kings.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Genius. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ENGSWE?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ENGSWE</a> - IKEA style <a href="https://t.co/UwOuNsv2O2">pic.twitter.com/UwOuNsv2O2</a></p>&mdash; emily m (@maitlis) <a href="https://twitter.com/maitlis/status/1015505374324183040?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 7, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Knowing that both teams are more afraid to lose than keen to win, expect a match with tough football, lots of fouls and not too many goals.

<b>Russia – Croatia</b>

Whoever played an office sweepstake this year and knows anything about football probably didn’t have the Russians going all the way to the quarter finals.

Given that to top or come second in their group they would always go up against the Portuguese or the Spanish, many people naturally assumed that the hosts would be out by then.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Today at 21:00 MSK / 20:00 CET &amp; SAST <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Russia?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Russia</a> &amp; <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Croatia?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Croatia</a> are playing in the quarter-finals of the 2018 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WorldCup</a> at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi! The better team will proceed to the semi-finals. Bon chance! Go <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamRussia?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TeamRussia</a>! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RUS?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RUS</a> vs <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CRO?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CRO</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoRussia?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoRussia</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldCupFever?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WorldCupFever</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Russia2018?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Russia2018</a> <a href="https://t.co/YJSEsmsAbP">pic.twitter.com/YJSEsmsAbP</a></p>&mdash; Russia in RSA (@EmbassyofRussia) <a href="https://twitter.com/EmbassyofRussia/status/1015547042372956161?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 7, 2018</a></blockquote>

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However, Russian President Putin can still hope for ultimate sports revenge and a possible semi-final against the English (wouldn’t that make for a nice picture of UK Prime Minister Therese May came to visit) or being able to even (let’s fantasize for a moment) watch his own Russian team in the final in Moscow and see US President Donald Trump the day after that in Helsinki.

Related coverage: https://thegoldwater.com/news/30154-World-Cup-Huge-Shock-As-Russia-Knocks-Out-Spain-Via-Penalties-Video

But before doing so, they must overcome the technically very gifted Croatians, who were able to set aside Argentina, Iceland and Nigeria in their group game before knocking out Denmark via penalties. This is a difficult one to predict. Russia plays a home game while Croatia is stronger. Expect the Russians refusing to yield and the Croatians waiting to develop a strategy to climb the mountain in front of them.

Twitter: <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%40TheGoldWaterUS%20%23ENGSWE ">#ENGSWE </a> <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%40TheGoldWaterUS%20%23Jaipur ">#Jaipur </a> <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%40TheGoldWaterUS%20%23PrideLondon ">#PrideLondon </a> <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%40TheGoldWaterUS%20%23TDF2018 ">#TDF2018 </a> <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%40TheGoldWaterUS%20%23ODTÜ ">#ODTÜ </a> <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%40TheGoldWaterUS%20%23MusicCore ">#MusicCore </a> <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%40TheGoldWaterUS%20%23TUF27Finale ">#TUF27Finale </a>

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