We are now at the semifinal stage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, and just four teams remain in with a chance of being crowned the 2022 FIFA World Champions.

So while Brazil, Portugal, England and the Netherlands all took flights home after their quarterfinal exits, France, Morocco, Argentina and Croatia all progressed into the semi finals.

This week we are going to take a closer look at both semi finals (which will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday this week) and of course we will be giving you our top tips for each game in the process.

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But before we delve into the semi-finals, let’s take a look at how the four Quarter Final games went, all of which we previewed in our article last week.

FIFA World Cup Quarter Finals – Review

  • Croatia 1-1 Brazil (Petkovic 117), (Neymar 105+1) – Croatia win 4-2 on penalties.

Croatia’s incredible run of penalty shootout wins in World Cup knockout ties continued as they stunned the world and knocked out the favourites Brazil. A tepid 90 minutes gave way to a much more entertaining extra time, which was lit up by Neymar’s great goal just before the end of the first half of extra time. However a late Petkovic leveller drew Croatia level and they completed the win as Rodrygo and Marquinhos missed fromn the spot to send Brazil out and Croatia through.

  • Netherlands 2-2 Argentina (Weghorst 83,90+11), (Molina 35, Messi 73 (p))

A very bad-tempered game saw Argentina throw away a two goal lead, but then go through on penalties as the Dutch will bemoan the dismal performance of Spanish referee Lahoz. Goals from Molina and Messi from the spot put Argentina 2-0 up before Wout Weghorst scored two late goals to level. The game went to penalties where the Dutch could not recover from van Dijk and Berghuis missing their opening two penalties. 16 players were booked and one sent off (Dumfries) after brawls twice broke out during and after the game between the two sets of players.

  • Morocco 1-0 Portugal (En-Neysri 42)

A towering header on the brink of half time handed Morocco an astonishing win over Portugal to allow them to become the first African team to reach the Semi Finals of a World Cup. En Nesyri’s header was a dagger through the heart of Portugal who had chances but found Bono in superb form behind the well-marshalled Moroccan back line.

  • France 2-1 England (Tchouameni 17, Giroud 78), (Kane 54 (p))

A game England will feel hard done in as they missed a penalty and had another one denied by VAR while France’s first goal should have been ruled out by VAR for a foul on Saka. That said, France took their two opportunities well, while England squandered theirs and that was why, despite dominating the game, England went out and France went through.

FIFA World Cup Semi Finals – Preview

Tuesday 13th December

Argentina v Croatia

  • Venue – Lusail Stadium
  • Kick Off – 7pm
  • Referee – Daniele Orsato (Italy)
  • Head To Head – Played 5, Croatia Wins – 2, Argentina Wins – 2, Draws – 1

World Cup Story So Far – Argentina

  • Manager – Lionel Scaloni

The 2022 World Cup Finals started with a massive shock for Argentina as they were defeated 2-1 by Saudi Arabia in their opening game. However, they regrouped after that to qualify top of their group by earning a 2-0 win over Mexico, followed by another 2-0 win over Poland.

In the Round of 16 they held off a spirited fightback by Australia, moving through 2-1 in a game where Lionel Messi produced his best World Cup performance for Argentina. They seemed to be moving serenely into the semifinals when going 2-0 up against the Netherlands, but two late goals pulled the Dutch back into the game and in the end it was penalties that decided Argentina advanced after Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berghuis missed the first two penalties for the Dutch.

Performance-wise, they have been hugely reliant on Lionel Messi and he is going to need more support from the players around him if Argentina are going to win the trophy.

  • Injuries – Papu Gomez is a doubt
  • Suspensions – Gonzalo Montiel (DR), Marcos Acuna (DL)

Probable Argentina Team (5-3-2) – Martinez.E (GK), Molina (DR), Tagliafico (DL), Martinez.L (DC), Otamendi (DC), Romero (DC), Fernandez (MC), Mac Allister (MC), De Paul (MC), Messi (AMC), Alvarez (AC)

World Cup Story So Far – Croatia

  • Manager – Zlatko Dalic

Croatia’s World Cup campaign has been one of drawn games so far. It began with a 0-0 draw against Morocco in their opener, which was followed by a 4-1 win over Canada in their second game. Croatia then secured the point they needed to qualify for the knockout phase by holding Belgium 0-0 in their final group game, a result which knocked out Belgium from the tournament.

Croatia’s incredible record on penalties continued in the Knockout Phase as they held Japan to a 1-1 draw before securing a 3-1 win on penalties and then they shocked the world by scoring a late extra time equaliser against Brazil to force the game to penalties, where the Croatians scored all four of their kicks, while Brazil missed two to ensure the European team progressed.

While lacking punch in attack, Croatia’s midfield trio of Modric, Brozovic and Kovacic have been the best midfield in the tournament and they are going to be vital in the game with Argentina if Croatia are going to progress further in the World Cup.

  • Injuries – None
  • Suspensions – None

Probable Croatia Team (4-3-3) – Livakovic (GK), Juranovic (RB), Sosa (LB), Gvardiol (DC), Lovren (DC), Modric (MC), Brozovic (MC), Kovacic (MC), Perisic (AML), Pasalic (AMR), Kramaric (AC)

Betting Tips

  • Bet Builder – Lionel Messi to score anytime, Match Result – Argentina, Over 2 Goals – 11/2.
  • Argentina to win – 10/11
  • Argentina to win and both teams to score – 4/1

Wednesday 14th December

France v Morocco

  • Venue – Al Bayt Stadium
  • Kick Off – 7pm
  • Referee – TBC
  • Head To Head – Played 11, France Wins – 7, Morocco Wins – 1, Draws – 3

World Cup Story So Far – France

  • Manager – Didier Deschamps

After earning comfortable wins over Australia (4-1) and Denmark (2-1) France rested a number of players for their game with Tunisia and paid the price with the North African side winning that match 1-0.

However, Kylian Mbappe was back and scored twice against Poland to become the World Cup leading goalscorer in a 3-1 win and then the French rode their luck at times against England earning a 2-1 win against the Three Lions.

They’ll have to be sharper, especially defensively against Morocco but the French should progress given the amount of quality they have in their team.

  • Injuries – Benzema, L.Hernandez are both injured.
  • Suspensions – None

Probable France Team (4-2-3-1) – Lloris (GK), Kounde (DR), T.Hernandez (DL), Varane (DC), Upemecano (DC), Rabiot (MC), Tchouameni (MC), Dembele (AMR), Mbappe (AML), Griezmann (AMC), Giroud (AC)

World Cup Story So Far – Morocco

  • Manager – Walid Regragui

Whatever the outcome of this semi-final, it has been an incredible performance by Morocco to reach the semi finals of this competition. After drawing their opener with Croatia, they defeated Belgium 2-0 and then Canada 2-1 to finish top of the group with 7 points.

A stunning win on penalties after a 0-0 draw against Spain followed and Morocco then completed an Iberian Peninsula double with a 1-0 win over Portugal in the quarterfinals thanks to En Neysri’s towering header.

Sofiane Amrabat has been the star of this team and the possible absence of Saiss could be a big blow to Morocco’s hopes as they seek to become the first African team to reach a World Cup Final.

  • Injuries – Romain Saiss (DC) is a major doubt as is Nayef Aguerd
  • Suspensions – Walid Cheddira (red card in last game)

Probable Morocco Team  (4-3-3) – Bono (GK), Hakimi(DR), Mazraoui (DL), Aguerd (DC), Yamiq (DC), Ounahi (MC), Amrabat (DMC), Amallah (MC), Ziyech (AML), Boufal (AMR), En-Nesyri (AC)

Betting Tips

  • France To Win And Both Teams To Score – No – 11/10
  • France to win 1-0 – 5/1
  • Kylian Mbappe to score at anytime – 5/4