Match Date: 11th July 2018
Kick Off Time: 19:00 (GMT)
Stadium: Luzhniki Stadium
The quarter finals of the World Cup 2018 are over, which means just two matches stand in the way of four teams and their chances to be crowned champions.
Perhaps unbelievably, England are one of these teams! The Three Lions will go head to head with host nation Russia, in the second semi-final of the competition on the 11th July in Moscow.
England have reached this stage in the competition by battling it out with Sweden in the quarter-finals, whilst Russia defended their chances against Croatia in the same round.
That being said, neither team were really expected to get this far at the beginning of the tournament, which means predicting what may happen in this match is a bit of a challenge. Luckily for you, however, we've weighed up as many stats as we can get our hands on and, in this article, we'll be offering advice on which team we think you should back as winners.
England are favourites to win this match, but we think it will a very close match. Today we'll be looking at:
- Why England are favourites to win
- How this affects the odds
- Which odds will be the most lucrative
- Each team's recent performances and World Cup 2018 record so far
- How we think the match may play out for either side
Betting Tips for England vs Russia
As we've just mentioned, England are the current favourites to win this match. This is because, statistically speaking, they are considered to be the better team. England currently place 12th in the FIFA Men's World Rankings, whilst Russia place 70th.
This is all also reflected in both teams' odds on winning the 2018 World Cup outright:
England's odds on winning the World Cup 2018 outright currently stand at around 4/1
Russia's odds on winning the World Cup 2018 outright currently stand at around 20/1
As you can see, England are much more favoured to win the competition by the bookies, which sets them in good stead for the semi-finals.
These odds also show us that going against the bookies on this one may be unwise. Whilst we still think the match will be very close, all the statistics (which is what bookmakers use to create their odds) point to an English victory, and therefore backing Russia could be unwise.
Luckily, England's odds on winning this semi-final still have some value and there's plenty more specialized markets for you to explore. These markets, which we'll talk more about later, give you much better odds but you do need to know what you're doing and why the odds look the way they are.
Fortunately, below we've provided you with all the recent facts and figures on each teams' performances in the World Cup 2018 so far. These statistics should give us some clues as to how the game may play out for both England and Russia.
Head to Head Statistics
In addition to analysing the last five matches the teams have played in this competition, we can also look at what has happened the previous times these two teams have played each other:
|11 Jun 2016||England vs Russia||Draw||1-1||UEFA Euros|
|17 Oct 2007||Russia vs England||Win to Russia||2-1||UEFA Euros|
|12 Sept 2007||England vs Russia||Win to England||3-0||UEFA Euros|
Our Match Predictions for England vs Russia
As we can see from the statistics above, both England and Russia have good records in this year's World Cup, and they seem fairly well matched. In fact, both teams only suffered one loss each, both in their last match of the group stages.
In fact, Russia have only conceeded one more goal than England in the tournament. That being said, it could be argued that Russia had an easier set of teams to play in the group stages and so they should have a much better record than England.
England have been surprising this World Cup and their triumph on penalities over Colombia certainly stands out as a historic moment. Before now, England had lost six out of seven of their major tournament penalty shootouts. The fact they managed to succeed this year is one of the reasons many pundits believe they could go the whole way.
England have a strong team this year full of young players. They do, however, sometimes struggle without star strikers such as Kane and Sterling and so it's detrimental that these players can keep fit ahead of the semi-final.
Russia, on the other hand, were expected to lose to Croatia and so their victory in the quarter-finals must have gave them a lot more confidence going into this match. Their round of 16 match against Spain also stands out as impressive, yet although they won on penalities, La Rojas were by far the superior team.
We expect that England will take on an offensive strategy as they have in previous matches. This is what could lead them to victory as Russia do sometimes struggle defensively, especially against quick teams like England.
Specialised Betting Tips
As we've mentioned already, although Russia are on good form, we don't think they will display the ability and speed needed to beat England. This is why a bet backing the Brazilians to qualify for the final of the World Cup 2018 is definitely worth placing.
In contrast you could also place a bet on Russia to be eliminated in the semi-finals (which is basically the same as backing France). These odds currently stand at around 5/2.
In the run-up to this semi-final game, we'd also explore other specialized markets such as score-cast bets, winning margins and goalscorers. Below we've listed some of our favourite wagers you may want to consider ahead of this the England vs Russia game:
England to Win to Nil
England to Win by One Goal
England to Win by Two Goals
HT/FT Winner – Draw/England
Chances of Penalty Shootout
Both Teams to Score
Who Will Score For England?
Harry Kane has had a superb World Cup 2018 tournament so far and he is definitely England's player to watch, if not the player to watch of the whole tournament. In fact, in the run up to the semi-finals, many bookmakers are offering plausible odds on Kane to score a hat-trick, as well as him to keep his fantastic record and be named top goalscorer of the competition.
Harry Kane To Be Named Top Goalscorer of the World Cup 2018: 1/4
Expected England Line-Up:
It's expected that England manager Gareth Southgate won't make many changes to his lineup for the upcoming match. This means we can presume that he will play a similar starting 11 to previous matches, with only one or two swaps.
Defenders: Trippier, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Young
Midfielders: Henderson, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Lingard
Forwards: Sterling, Kane
Who Will Score For Russia?
Artem Dzyuba has been instrumental in Russia's success in this year's World Cup. Before the quarter-finals, Dzyuba had been directly involved in four of Russia's last seven goals (three goals and one assist). This definitely makes him the player to watch from the Russia squad and, if he can get past England's defense, he's very likely to score.
Expected Russia Line-Up:
It's expected that Russia manager Cherchesov will play a similar line-up to the one he put out for their quarter-final match.
Defenders: Kudryashov, Ignashevich, Kutepov
Midfielders: Zhirkov, Fernandes, Kuzyayev, Zobnin, Samedov
Forwards: Golovin, Dzyuba
Will There Be A Penalty or Red Cards?
It's highly likely that a penalty will be awarded in this semi-final match, as everyone will be on their guard at all times. This means we can definitely expect players to contest some referring decisions too, and we'd be surprised if there wasn't at least one point where the VAR screen had to be consulted!
On the other hand, whilst we think yellow cards may be rife, we think a red-card being issued is very unlikely. This is because the players know that if they are sent off in this match, they won't be able to play in the final of the World Cup 2018 for their national team.