The all-European World Cup semi-final line-up is complete after England and Croatia got the better of Sweden and Russia in Saturday’s two remaining quarter-finals.
England kept their first clean sheet of the tournament in a fairly comfortable 2-0 win over the Swedes, while Croatia progressed via a penalty shootout for the second round running after being pushed all the way by the host nation.
Value buys Andreas Granqvist and Denis Cheryshev bowed out of our Fantasy squads as their respective countries exited the tournament, but there was relief all round for owners of well-backed English and Croatian assets with transfers at a premium ahead of the next deadline on Tuesday night.
We round up all the goals, assists, clean sheets and Fantasy talking points from Saturday’s two quarter-final matches.
England 2-0 Sweden
- Harry Maguire (£4.9m) – 11 points
- Ashley Young (£5.3m) – 9 points
- Dele Alli (£8.9m) – 8 points
- Jordan Pickford (£5.5m) – 7 points
- Jesse Lingard (£7.5m) – 6 points
- Kyle Walker (£5.7m) – 6 points
- John Stones (£5.9m) – 6 points
- Kieran Trippier (£5.5m) – 6 points
After the late-night drama of England’s shootout win over Colombia in the last 16, this was a relatively straightforward success for Gareth Southgate’s side over a dogged but ultimately limited Sweden team.
We highlighted Harry Maguire (£4.9m)’s dangerous threat from set pieces before the match and the Leicester City centre-back duly delivered on his underlying attacking statistics, powering home a header from an Ashley Young (£5.3m) corner-kick to give England the lead on the half-hour mark.
Raheem Sterling (£8.9m), still without a goal at these finals, wasted a glorious chance to increase England’s lead before the break as he dawdled when put clean through by Jordan Henderson (£6.3m).
Dele Alli‘s (£8.9m) two-year wait for an England goal ended just before the hour when he was left unmarked to nod Jesse Lingard‘s (£7.5m) cross past Swedish goalkeeper Robin Olsen (£5.2m).
England’s other “Harry”, the tournament’s leading goalscorer (£11.2m), blanked and was afforded only one shot on goal from distance in the entire 90 minutes.
On-form Jordan Pickford (£5.5m) made three superb stops to top his clean sheet off with an extra save point.
England XI (3-5-2): Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Young, Lingard, Henderson (Dier 85′), Alli (Delph 77′); Kane, Sterling (Rashford 90+1′)
Sweden XI (4-4-2): Olsen; Lindelof, Granqvist, Augustinsson, Krafth (Jansson 85′); Larsson, Ekdal, Forsberg (Olsson 65′), Claesson; Berg, Toivonen (Giudetti 65′)
Russia 2-2 Croatia (3-4 pens)
- Denis Cheryshev (£5.6m) – 7 points
- Mario Fernandes (£5.1m) – 7 points
- Andrej Kramaric (£7.8m) – 6 points
- Domagoj Vida (£5.5m) – 6 points
- Luka Modric (£9.1m) – 5 points
- Mario Mandzukic (£8.9m) – 5 points
- Artem Dzyuba (£8.1m) – 5 points
- Alan Dzagoev (£6.9m) – 4 points
England’s semi-final opponents on Wednesday night will be Croatia, who became the first nation since Argentina in 1990 to win penalty shootouts in two successive World Cup knockout rounds.
Russia’s unexpected run in their home World Cup looked liked it might continue when Denis Cheryshev (£5.6m) scored his fourth goal of the tournament in spectacular style, curling home a 25-yard shot after a lay-off from Artem Dzyuba (£8.1m).
Croatia were level before the break though, former Leicester City striker Andrej Kramaric (£7.8m) nodding home after a cut-back from Milan Mandzukic (£8.9m).
Ivan Perisic (£8.5m) wasted the best chance to win the game in normal time, rattling the woodwork from eight yards after a penalty box scramble.
Domagoj Vida‘s (£5.5m) header from a Luka Modric (£9.1m) corner bobbled apologetically into Igor Akinfeev‘s (£5.0m) goal to give Croatia the lead in extra-time, but the hosts restored parity with just five minutes to go.
Alan Dzagoev (£6.9m), making his first appearance since the opening match over three weeks ago, whipped a free-kick onto defender Mario Fernandes’ (£5.1m) head to send the match to penalties.
Fernandes was one of two Russian players to miss from the spot – the other being Fedor Smolov (£7.7m) – and Croatia could even afford the luxury of Mateo Kovacic (£7.5m) failing from 12 yards as they triumphed 4-3 in the shootout.
Russia XI (4-2-3-1): Akinfeev; Fernandes, Ignashevich, Kutepov, Kudryashov; Zobnin, Kuzyaev; Samedov (Erokhin 54′), Golovin (Dzagoev 102′), Cheryshev (Smolov 67′); Dzyuba (Gazinskiy 79′)
Croatia XI (4-2-3-1): Subasic; Vrsaljko (Corluka 97′), Vida, Lovren, Strinic (Pivaric 74′); Rakitic, Modric; Rebic, Kramaric (Kovacic 88′), Perisic (Brozovic 63′); Mandzukic
World Cup Data
We’re delighted to offer World Cup data as an early addition to our regular season offering to help those playing Fantasy games over the summer.
We’ve secured Opta data, not only for the tournament itself, but also from the Qualifying Rounds for Europe and South America and for international friendlies involving the participating nations. This includes all the matches played right up to the tournament kick-off.
Just to stress, this World Cup offering comes packaged with the regular Fantasy Football Scout membership.
Check out this new trailer detailing the World Cup content below…
McDonald’s FIFA World Cup Fantasy
Join our McDonald’s FIFA World Cup Fantasy league ‘FantasyFootballScout’ using the code: HEWJPVYR
Fantasy Football Scout is supporting Fantasy iTeam, a free World Cup game available on a number of mobile devices, including iPhone, iPad, iPodTouch and Android. We have an official Fantasy Football Scout League open to UK users only, with a £1000 of Amazon vouchers to give out, split between the top three performers. There’s also the small matter of £10k worth of prizes available in the main competitions: Overall World Championship and Manager of the Gameround.
Click here for details and here to sign up.
Our League name is Fantasy Football Scout and the pin is 1887.
Please note, users must be over 18 and based in the UK to join our league.