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England Favored to Advance in World Cup Betting

Croatia vs. England World Cup Betting Lines

A berth in the 2018 FIFA World Cup final will be on the line on Wednesday when England takes on Croatia in tournament semi-final action as +130 favorites on the World Cup odds.

The Three Lions advanced to the World Cup semi-final for the first time since 1990 with a 2-0 win over Sweden as -120 favorites in the quarter-finals on Saturday, and will be aiming to record consecutive clean-sheet victories at the World Cup for the first time since 2006 when they take the pitch in Wednesday’s matchup at Luzhniki Stadium.

England’s tournament success marks a major turn in fortune after the national side struggled to post just one knockout stage victory in four major tournament appearances since 2006. Featuring just three players over the age of 30, the new generation of Three Lions has effectively buried the memory of those failures.

The squad marched undefeated through 10 UEFA World Cup qualifying matches, surrendering just three total goals, and have suffered one defeat in 15 overall contests, a meaningless 1-0 loss to Belgium as +135 chalk in the Group G finale.

In addition to the breakthrough performance by 24-year-old Harry Kane, who leads the tournament with six goals, England has received stellar performances from 24-year-old goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who has not surrendered more than one goal in his past 13 national side appearances across all competitions, while 27-year-old midfielder Jordan Henderson has emerged as the squad’s leader while playing a key defensive role.

England’s stout defense has limited opponents to just four goals at the tournament, and seven total goals in their past 15 outings. Three Lions have also combined to score OVER 2.0 goals just five times during that stretch, fueling strong -105 odds of the total finishing UNDER 2.0 in Wednesday’s match.

 

Croatia the Underdog on World Cup Betting Lines

However, England will have to contain a Croatian offense that has scored at least two goals in five of their past seven matches, and enters Wednesday’s contest as +255 underdogs on the Croatia-England World Cup lines.

The Blazers have come to life at Russia 2018 after struggling through the home stretch of UEFA World Cup qualifying and pre-tournament friendlies. Croatia closed out qualifying on a shaky 3-2-2 win-draw-loss run, and entered the World Cup sporting a 7-2-7 record in their previous 16 matches. The Blazers came to life in group stage action, marching to three victories including clean-sheet wins over Nigeria and Argentina, but needed a full 120 minutes plus penalties to come away with wins over Denmark and Russia in knockout stage action.

Croatia memorably denied England a berth in Euro 2008 with a pair of victories in UEFA qualifying, but the Three Lions later avenged themselves with a pair of qualifying wins that left the Blazers short of a berth at the 2010 World Cup, and hold a solid 4-1-2 edge in seven previous meetings.

The winner of Wednesday’s contest will face France in Sunday’s 2018 World Cup final. Les Bleus clinched a berth in the final with an entertaining 1-0 win over Belgium as +158 favorites in Tuesday’s semi-final clash, and are set as -150 championship favorites in World Cup betting, while England follows at +260, and Croatia trails as a +550 underdog.

 

*Odds as of July 11, 2018

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