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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 December 2018

Extra Time podcast: France and Belgium evenly-matched but England too strong for Croatia - predicting World Cup semi-finals

In this episode, Steve Luckings and Jon Turner look ahead to the semi-finals, pick out the key players who could be decisive and talk tactics

France and midfielder N'Golo Kante will take on Belgium in one of the World Cup semi-finals, while England will battle Croatia in the other. Reuters
France and midfielder N'Golo Kante will take on Belgium in one of the World Cup semi-finals, while England will battle Croatia in the other. Reuters

Only four teams remain in the 2018 World Cup, with France and Belgium contesting the first semi-final on Tuesday before Croatia and England face off on Wednesday. Whichever side can win two more games will therefore be crowned champions.

We predict which sides will be in the final and more in this episode of the Extra Time podcast. Listen below, and subscribe to the show for free on Apple Podcasts.

France v Belgium looks set to be a battle of the front three, with Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Grioud the big threats for France, while Belgium will look to Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku to guide them to victory.

In the other semi-final, England are expected to continue with what has served them so well in the tournament so far; relying on crosses and set pieces as Harry Kane aims to consolidate his lead in the race to win the golden boot.

For Croatia, their hopes will lie predominantly with the superstar midfield pairing of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic.