Well, haven’t there been a few surprises so far at the World Cup! Just four teams remain to fight for the chance to progress to the Final. Both games will be filled with so much action as we see each country give it their all. The four teams that remain in contention for the World Cup include Croatia, Argentina, France and Morocco.
There is so much action to be had over the Semi Finals, as four teams fight for the chance to make it to the Final. Which teams will put their best foot forward and make it through to the final game of the tournament?
Look below to find our free soccer picks for both the games during the Semi Finals at the FIFA World Cup!
Tuesday, December 13th
Argentina vs Croatia – 2PM ET
Well, well, well! Many people would have been expecting a South American matchup here, but instead we get Argentina against Croatia. Both teams played a very exciting game in the previous round, with those matches going to a penalty shootout. Argentina was 2-0 up in the closing stages of their Quarter Final, but let it slip, and had to win through a penalty shootout. Croatia went down to Brazil 1-0 in the extra time period, but ended up leveling the match, and then went on to win in a penalty shootout.
Lionel Messi and Argentina survived a competitive Netherlands team to advance to the Semi Finals of the World Cup. Now they will be looking to make it to the Final and get Messi the first World Cup victory of his career, in what is likely going to be the final World Cup of his legendary career. They are likely the current favorites after Brazil lost to Croatia in the Quarter Finals. They will have to be a lot better than they were in the Quarter Finals if they want to advance.
Croatia comes into this one after a thrilling win over Brazil. Now they have an opportunity to knock out another South American power when they face off against Argentina. They will be looking to keep Luka Modric’s last run alive with another win to advance to the Final of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. This should be a solid back and forth match, but in the end I have Messi and Argentina coming out on top.
Tony’s FIFA World Cup Pick:
Both Argentina and Croatia went through the Semi Finals after penalty shootouts. Argentina had the early lead against the Netherlands, but in the end, they were lucky not to lose the game. Argentina is a typical South American soccer team. They never lack fighting spirit and motivation for any game. Safe, sound, and good on the ball, they are extremely hard to play against. They struggle to create chances going forward, but one of the greatest players of all time, Lionel Messi, can create magic at any given moment.
Croatia is coming to this Semi Final after playing two 120-minute matches. This will affect their energy levels going into this match against Argentina. Croatia’s best player, Luka Modric, is 37 years old, and I am not sure how much he will recover for this game. His midfield partners, Kovacic and Brozovic, were injured coming into the World Cup, so their fitness level is not 100%. This makes me think Argentina has the upper hand in this match. I expect to see an excruciating battle in the middle of the park. If Lionel Messi gets any kind of space, he will create, or score a goal. Croatia will have to be disciplined and always on alert. I don’t expect to see a lot of goals, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this match go into penalties. Under 2.5 goals is the safe bet.
Aleksandar’s FIFA World Cup Pick:
Under Goals – 2.5 (-188)
Both teams survived penalty shootouts to get to the Semi Final of the World Cup. Croatia caused the biggest upset eliminating the main favorite Brazil, even though they were a goal down in the extra time. Zlatko Dalic’s team has shown a remarkable level of self-confidence and stability, and that is something that sets them apart from the rest of the teams. Just like four years before, Croatia managed to go through in the penalty shootout and goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic has performed miracles at the goal line. Given the odds, Argentina is a major favorite going into this one, but if we really compare the performances of both teams, Argentina didn’t show anything more than Croatia. Lionel Messi and part of the team still remember the 3-0 defeat against Croatia four years ago and they certainly have all the respect for this team.
Just like Messi, Luka Modric is playing his last World Cup and he has managed to take his team this far in the tournament for the second time in a row. Croatia has a high level of discipline in their play and are confident that they can beat any team in extra time or penalties, so they will rush nowhere during the game. Argentina will also be really careful and will rely on Messi’s brilliance to make a great pass or score from outside the box. However, Croatia will be able to stay undefeated in the regulation and the odds for a double chance of them look like a great deal.
Marko’s FIFA World Cup Pick:
Croatia or Draw (-114)
Wednesday, December 14th
France vs Morocco – 2PM ET
The final Semi Final will see the defending champions, France, up against the shock team of the tournament, Morocco. France was lucky in their Quarter Final, as England’s Harry Kane missed a penalty shot to tie the game 2-2 late in the second half, but in the end France survived, winning 2-1. Morocco just keeps on winning, and their latest victim was Portugal, winning 1-0.
France are the defending champions and they will be looking to become the first back-to-back champions in over a few decades. They look unstoppable and at this point it doesn’t seem like anyone can beat them. Mbappe also has his sights set on the Golden Boot and he will certainly need to win to keep the hopes alive for that as well. As long as nothing catastrophic happens to this French team, I cannot see any way they would lose this game.
Morocco is the Cinderella team of this year’s World Cup in Qatar. They will be looking to become the first African nation to advance to the Final, after they already become the first African nation to reach the Semi Finals. However, I think their dream will end in this one against their neighbors France. I look for France and Mbappe to keep their run going at a back-to-back.
Tony’s FIFA World Cup Pick:
The reigning world champion, France, is the betting favorite to win this World Cup as well. In the Quarter Finals against England, France showed their greatness. Two moments of brilliance were all France needed to end up with a 2-1 victory. This squad knows how to win, and their team unity is unmatched. Probably the best player in the world at this moment, Kylian Mbappe, had a quiet evening in the match against England. Can his teammate playing for the opposite side, Hakimi, keep him relatively under control, or will he dominate the game and lead France to another Final?
Morocco is a real Cinderella story. No one would predict they would still be standing in this stage of the competition. Morocco came up with impressive defensive gameplay, for whom Spain and Portugal had no answers. They had a clear plan going forward and looked dangerous in counter-attacks. The back line of Morocco is hobbled. Three of their starting four defenders are injured and probably out of this game. Can they produce another miracle and send France home? We all love a good underdog story. But I believe Morocco’s sensation run ends here. France is way too talented to allow for another upset.
Aleksandar’s FIFA World Cup Pick:
France came into the World Cup as the defending champion but at the same time, they didn’t play very well this season. To make the doubters even louder, five players were injured and left out of Didier Deschamps’ roster including the Ballon d’Or winner, Karim Benzema. Just a couple of weeks later, France is the top favorite to win the World Cup and become the second team in history to be able to defend the trophy. Despite the loss to Tunisia in the Group Stage, France has shown a rock-solid game and are a team that can hold the ball and create chances against anybody. It seems like they could not ask for an easier opponent in the Semi Finals but that is exactly what Portugal and Spain thought in the last two rounds going against Morocco.
The African team shocked the world multiple times but the fact is that they fully deserved to be here. They are a great defensive team managing to keep a clean sheet against European teams such as Croatia, Belgium, Spain and Portugal. The only goal they allowed so far in the tournament was actually an own-goal against Canada. France is a team on another level and no matter how good Morocco’s defense is, it will finally break against the defending champions. France will dominate the possession and open the score early, which will be enough to advance to the Final without any difficulties.
Marko’s FIFA World Cup Pick:
If you need more news, information and predictions, head over to our soccer hub page for all your FIFA World Cup needs!
*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.