England, Sweden, Russia and Croatia will all think they can reach the final
This coming Saturday (7 July) will see the final two World Cup quarter-final ties take place, with all four sides having one eye on the final. The quartet of teams have been drawn in what looks like the easier side of the bracket, with a possible World Cup final just two games away.
First things first
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England and Sweden meet in the first game on Saturday, with a top chance of going far in the tournament. The Three Lions got past Colombia after a nerve-wracking penalty shoot-out, while Sweden beat Switzerland 1-0.
And the Swedes will be no pushovers in this one. They have conceded just two goals in four games so far and have kept three clean sheets – given this is a knock-out tie and likely to be a cagey affair, goals may well be in short supply.
Under 2.5 goals is priced at just 1.47 in this one, but if you think there will be more than 2.5 goals then you could potentially more than double your money, at a price of 2.60. With that in mind, however, and England’s less than rock solid defence, it is Gareth Southgate’s men who remain the favourites to reach the final four.
England are at just 1.95 to win the tie inside 90 minutes, with Sweden out at 4.75. Alternatively, you can make a simpler bet on who will progress, with Sweden at 2.75 and England at the shorter price of 1.44, according to Oddsshark.
England, of course, will be looking to star forward Harry Kane to fire them past Sweden. The Tottenham forward is the leading scorer at the World Cup so far with six goals, and is at just 2.05 to get on the score sheet in this one and just 3.75 to net either the first or last goal of the match.
The two sides look evenly matched and there is unlikely to be very little in this one. While predicting the exact score of any match is a tricky business, a 2-1 win for England is priced at 10.00, offering a ten-fold return on your investment.
Odds (after 90 minutes): Sweden (4.75), England (1.95), draw (3.30)
The final quarter-final clash sees host nation Russia take on Croatia. Both sides won their second round ties via penalty shoot-outs, with Russia shocking former world champions Spain and Croatia edging out Denmark.
Russia started the tournament strongly and Croatia cruised through their group with three straight wins, including a 3-0 win over Argentina. And it is Croatia who come into this game as the favourites, priced at 2.20 to win inside 90 minutes, while hosts Russia are out at 4.00 to do the same.
With both sides going to extra time in the previous round, the same could happen again here. Croatia are at 10.00 to win after 120 minutes of football with the hosts again at the linger price of 15.00.
There is no doubt however that the technically superior team is Croatia. You can back the visitors to win to nil (without Russia scoring) at a price of 3.20, and if you think they can win both halves that price rises to 8.00.
Russia’s best chance of success may well be trying to close down the midfield and then hitting Croatia on the counter. A 1-0 win for the hosts is priced at 8.50, while a 2-0 win for Croatia would offer a ten-fold return.
Given the creativity in Croatia’s midfield and Russia’s lack of defensive solidity, we could see goals in this tie. Under two goals in the tie is priced at 2.37, you can double your money with two or three goals at 2.00, while over three goals is at the longer price of 5.50.
Given the fact that Croatia come into this game as favourites, their fans may well be looking ahead to a possible final. The Croats are at just 2.87 to make it to the World Cup final, with hosts Russia out at 6.00 to make it that far.
The hosts do not feature among the favourites to win a first World Cup crown, and are priced at 21.00 to bring the World Cup to Russia. Croatia, for their part, are at just 7.00 to win a first world title.
World Cup quarter-final odds (after 90 minutes):
Friday, 6 July
3.00pm – (4.60) Uruguay x France (2.05); draw (3.10)
7.00pm – (2.15) Brazil x Belgium (3.70); draw (3.40)
Saturday, 7 July
3.00pm – (4.75) Sweden x England (1.95); draw (3.30)
7.00pm – (4.00) Russia x Croatia (2.20); draw (3.10)
World Cup finalists:
World Cup winners: