The semi-finalists of World Cup 2018 will be decided today as the second half of the draw face each other.

England and Sweden meet in Samara in the 3pm kick-off, with Jordan Pickford and co hoping to progress to the last four for the first time since 1990. They face a Swedish side that has been one of the surprises of the tournament.

The Scandinavians had to beat Italy to qualify for Russia and then finished top of Germany's group before seeing off Switzerland in the Round of 16.

In the 7pm game, Croatia take on the hosts, Russia, in Sochi. The Croatians were deemed to be dark horses before the World Cup even began but they have flattered to deceive at times and needed a penalty to get past Denmark in the last round.

Russia, meanwhile, have been performing above the levels expected of them as they ridden a wave of home support to the last eight.

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Reader Comments (26)

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Jamie Crowley
1 Posted 07/07/2018 at 13:32:07
Big game today. Big.

Hoping Southgate and Co get it right.

Hoping Pickford plays fantastically as we all know he's capable of doing.

Love this team.

John Pierce
2 Posted 07/07/2018 at 13:48:07
You focus on your anniversary, fella, or you might be looking for a bed for the night!

England 3-0 — superior movement should do for them turnips.

Jim Bennings
3 Posted 07/07/2018 at 15:32:44
Maguire has just buried a header to go 1-0 up!

How did we miss out on this fella to bloody Leicester? (No disrespect!)

Colin Glassar
4 Posted 07/07/2018 at 15:48:08
If we lose this it will be Sterling’s fault. What a joke this guy is. Total waster.
Brian Williams
5 Posted 07/07/2018 at 15:55:00
I agree, Colin, talk about panic in front of goal. Could have easily played Kane in there too.

There's no point in him posing that threat on the break if his arse caves in at the sight of the net! Get Rashford on.

John G Davies
6 Posted 07/07/2018 at 15:57:15
Maguire was a steal at £15 million. The vast majority on TW wanted him.
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

7 Posted 07/07/2018 at 15:57:59
That Sterling's good, inhe?
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

8 Posted 07/07/2018 at 16:02:05
England have got the lead so Sweden will have to come on to us to get it back.

The passing and movement was too slow and ponderous for much of that half. Sweden are extremely disciplined. You have to quicken it up to move them out of their comfort zone.

It is breaking down around two players – Sterling and Dele Alli. Young – although his corner laid on the goal – is also easy to read. He has to cut back inside onto his right everytime. Those three are the prime candidates to be subbed.

With concentration, England have got this. With a bit more speed, they have got it comfortably.

Pete Clarke
9 Posted 07/07/2018 at 16:02:34
Bit like watching West Brom v Stoke. Zero quality on the pitch.
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

10 Posted 07/07/2018 at 16:54:11
Pissed in.
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

11 Posted 07/07/2018 at 17:00:57
England won't win nuffink with that short arse Pickford in goal, innit?

What a game he had today. Three key saves and his usual feistiness with his midfield and defence if things weren't to his liking.

The Brazilian commentators waxing lyrical about him, how he is only 24 and usurped the veteran Joe Hart.

Everton got plenty of mentions as a result!

Golden Gloves award on...? Golden Boot award on...? THE Golden Trophy award on...?

It's all got a lot closer today.

Pete Clarke
12 Posted 07/07/2018 at 17:04:21
Apologies.

England's keeper looks quality!!

Brian Williams
13 Posted 07/07/2018 at 17:14:38
England's keeper MotM for me.
Darren Hind
14 Posted 07/07/2018 at 17:18:09
in a competition where I hadn't backed a winner, England getting to the semi final gives me my biggest win at the bookies ever.


Free swing tonight. I'll take the Russians

John Pierce
15 Posted 07/07/2018 at 17:31:00
England look organized, calm and – most importantly – more than the sum of the parts.

Southgate has done extremely well. Our prowess at set pieces gives us a chance whichever side we play.

I'm hoping today kick-starts both Sterling and Alli into influencing the next game. Both have definitely had question-marks over their heads.

Back three were very well drilled, it has speed, aerial presence and an ability to bring the ball out. Balance there.

C'mon, you Lions!

Will Mabon
16 Posted 07/07/2018 at 17:39:33
Very surprised at how relatively easy it turned out to be, could've been plenty more goals with a bit of finishing. Sweden were quite comfortably nullified. When they weren't, Pickford dealt with it. He's getting even better almost by the game.

Agree our set pieces are a weapon but we are potentially better in open play, if they properly believe in themselves. Some quality performances by many in the team today.

Will Mabon
17 Posted 07/07/2018 at 17:42:47
Darren, your biggest ever? Big stake or good odds?
Darren Hind
19 Posted 07/07/2018 at 19:33:49
I'm a fivers and tenner's man Will.

I like to make sure I enjoy a punt rather than stress about it, but I liked what I saw about this current England team and when I saw one bookie offering 9/2 for them to reach the semi's. I couldn't resist.

Any big hitters will not be impressed and the bookies will not have to fold, but by my standards, I proper lumped on.

Will Mabon
20 Posted 07/07/2018 at 19:57:35
Well done, Darren – not a bad way to be. You have to be one or the other I think, it's in the middle where the trouble starts.
Paul Tran
21 Posted 07/07/2018 at 21:13:26
Good shout, Darren. Always good to see someone take it to the enemy.
Colin Glassar
22 Posted 07/07/2018 at 21:58:27
I don’t want to sound overconfident but that Croatian team is out of gas, running on empty, knackered etc...
Jamie Crowley
23 Posted 07/07/2018 at 22:02:15
Holy shit it's game on!

Surely England heavy favorites to reach the final?!

Hate to toot the horn, but I told you boys to get behind this team! A team. One more time... a TEAM!

It's on. Believe.

Andy Crooks
24 Posted 07/07/2018 at 22:09:04
Well done, Darren, well done indeed. I have Belgium at 12/1 and should they lose to France I will have some consolation in the fact it might be to England.

Those were good odds you got because, and I am not making any point here, England did not have to beat a decent side to get there.

However, they did what they had to do and that is not always easy. The spice boys couldn't do it and I think there is a lot to like about this England team and their coach.

The only winner that will piss me off is France. So, ToffeeWebbers, get your life savings on them. What drama tonight, what a World Cup and a demonstration of how this ridiculous game can raise the spirits and make the heart beat faster.

Darren Hind
25 Posted 08/07/2018 at 05:51:45
Good odds You got there Andy. Well done

I could only get 10/1 for Belgium — Mrs, who doesn't bet, saw me backing England and asked me to back her "wee sweetie" Martinez for her. I also have England each way (finalist pay 1/2 the odds) at 16/1, so we might have an interesting final in our house.

Paul T, More luck than judgement. I kid you not, I've called virtually every game wrongly.

Paul Tran
26 Posted 08/07/2018 at 11:08:45
Never lucky when you beat the bookies, Darren. Looks like you and Andy have them over a barrel!

Andy is right about the easy run we've had. I remember our 1984 cup run. 3 games to beat Gillingham, quarterfinal struggle at the mighty Notts County, semi-final draw with Southampton, Plymouth or Watford, the 120th-minute winner at Highbury, the struggle at Wembley till we scored the first.

None of it mattered. We won the cup. The first trophy I saw us win. It won't matter a jot if we win it.

Really funny up here in Scotland. People trying hard to find something they don't like about this team and they're struggling. That is quite telling. Here is a team properly coached and drilled, managed by someone using his own experience and mixing it with effective behavioural science. And it's working!

Hope Silva is watching.

Tom Bowers
27 Posted 08/07/2018 at 11:23:03
England haven't played like world beaters but have a real chance at winning it.

Having said that, they have had the easy side of the draw but Croatia pose a real threat to an England side still carrying passengers.

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