Hazard's Belgium block French path in SWC semi

Wednesday, 11 Jul, 2018

There is little prospect that they would have come this far without Modric, who as a boy was forced to flee his village home after his grandfather was killed by Serb forces in the Croatian independence war.

Russia's team coach Stanislav Cherchesov told a television chat show on Monday that he would also no longer be following the tournament, but would support Belgium, as he was friendly with the team's coach.

"The way this World Cup has gone, I expect a few more surprises".

Belgium can dare to dream of lifting a maiden World Cup, after a dramatic 3-2 win over Japan in the round of sixteen and a defensively composed performance to knock out five times World Champions Brazil with a 2-1 victory.

The managers at two bars in Moscow that have been showing World Cup games said their venues had been packed to the rafters whenever Russian Federation was playing, but that they did not expect the high demand to continue.

Croatia's run to the World Cup semi-finals may be a surprise to some, but coach Zlatko Dalic said his players had always been among the best in the world and are ready to go down in history as another golden generation when they face England on Wednesday. If France hopes to win, it will need the teenage star to step up to the massive challenge ahead of him.

Federation Internationale de Football Association awards the titles for the tournament's top scorer, best player, best goalkeeper, most disciplined team and best young footballer after the final.

Jesse Lingard, Kyle Walker, Jordan Henderson and Ruben Loftus-Cheek all needed one more yellow card to miss the semi-final.

In 2018, France is better than Belgium and will move on to their third World Cup final since 1998. England to win and Under 2.5 goals is a 3/1 chance and might be the way to bet.

Mark Roberts, National Police Chiefs' Council lead for football policing, said: "I think we'll see more, I think influx is probably overstating it". France and Croatia were the correct picks while I had England and Belgium both going home. Yes France are very strong in midfield with (Kylian) Mbappe and (Olivier) Giroud but Belgium can upset them.

England's Harry Kane is the tournament's top scorer with six goals.

Just one player. That's Belgium's Thomas Meunier who was cautioned in the quarter-final against Brazil.