With France meeting Belgium in the opening semi-final on Tuesday, day 24 sees the second semi-final sorted as the winners of Sweden/England and Russia/Croatia are finalised in the last pair of Quarter-Finals. 

 

Sweden vs England

World Cup - Round of 16 - Colombia vs England

England head into this Quarter-Final looking to make the last four for the first time since 1990. (Reuters)

Having fought their way past Colombia, England now face a fairly easy path to the final but Sweden will be a totally different test. 

Two previous World Cup meetings have ended in draws, of which the first was a 1-1 in 2002 before they again met four years later in a 2-2 draw. 

That however is part of the story of eight competitive meetings in which five clashes finished level, whilst Sweden won twice to England’s one. 

Realistically, another draw looks likely because Sweden love to sit deep and suck their opposition in before hitting on counter. 

England however have the players and quality to punish any defensive mistakes and if do, they will be through for my liking. 

Prediction: Sweden 0-1 England

 

Russia vs Croatia

Hosts, Russia will be hoping that their impressive run doesn’t end here as they face a much fancied Croatia. 

To get here, Russia played very defensive football against Spain last time out which will help them here because two of three previous meetings with Croatia have finished 0-0.

Croatia meanwhile were below par against Denmark after resting players in their last group game, so will hopefully be back to their best here after gelling together all over again.

Ultimately, the last five host nations to reach this stage have all gone on to reach the last four, favouring Russia who last won a knockout game in 1966, the year that England won it on home soil.

Could that be an omen for Russia or even England, who play in earlier game?

In end, I fancy Croatia to just pull through here because this is their best chance at World Cup glory.

Prediction: Russia 0-1 Croatia

 

 

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