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World Cup 2022: France emerges as the favorite to win ahead of the semifinals

Can France become the first team in 60 years to go back-to-back?

France’s win over England in the 2022 World Cup quarterfinals on Saturday meant it became the first country since Brazil in 1998 to advance to the semifinals of a World Cup as the defending champions. And a World Cup win for the French would make them the first team to win consecutive World Cups since Brazil in 1958 and 1962.

At the moment, oddsmakers like France’s chances. That victory 토토 over England and Brazil’s loss to Croatia on Friday made France the favorites to win the World Cup ahead of Lionel Messi and Argentina. Will we get a France vs. Argentina final? Or will Croatia or Morocco get into the final?

France (+110 to win the World Cup)
Leading scorer: Kylian Mbappe (5)

Goals conceded: 5

Why France can win the World Cup: France has the deepest team remaining in the tournament and also has the best goal-scoring threat on the planet in Kylian Mbappe. The French won the 2018 World Cup without a single goal from Olivier Giroud and have gotten four goals from Giroud in this tournament. Antoine Griezmann has adapted well to a deep-lying playmaker role and Adrien Rabiot and Aurelien Tchouameni have been fantastic fill-ins in midfield. If there is a concern about France, it’s the defense. Opponents have scored one goal in each of the five games France has played so far.

Argentina (+165)
Leading scorer: Lionel Messi (4)

Goals conceded: 5

Why Argentina can win the World Cup: This may seem controversial, but it’s a good thing to have the best player in the history of the sport on your team. Lionel Messi is still the focus of attention for opposing defenses and can create magical moments out of nothing. Julian Alvarez has played well after moving into the starting lineup in place of Lautaro Martinez. Alexis Mac Allister is having a breakout tournament in midfield and goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has shown that he’s a huge asset in penalty kicks. Like France, this team has some questions when it comes to its defense; both the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia put up multiple goals.

Croatia (+700)
Leading scorer: Andrej Kramaric (2)

Goals conceded: 3

Why Croatia can win the World Cup: Having an unflappable veteran squad that was in a World Cup final just four years ago is a massive benefit. The midfield three of Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic controls every game and dictates the tempo accordingly. This is a team that isn’t afraid to slow games down to the pace they want to play and force opponents to try to break them down. And Croatia isn’t broken down easily. The defense is organized and, as we’ve seen over the past two World Cups, you do not want to get to penalty kicks against this team. Spot kicks feel like a guaranteed win for Croatia at this point.

Morocco (+900)
Leading scorer: Youssef En-Nesyri (2)

Goals conceded: 1

Why Morocco can win the World Cup: You can win a lot of games when you don’t allow your opponents to score. And no opposing player has scored on Morocco at all in this World Cup. The goal Canada scored against Morocco was an own goal by Nayef Aguerd. That’s all teams have gotten from the Moroccans over the last five games. The win against Portugal on Saturday showed just how deep and organized this team is defensively, and the header Youssef En-Nesyri scored was an absolute thing of beauty. Morocco could stand to be much more clinical in front of goal — it had numerous counter attempts it failed to put away against both Spain and Portugal — and the hamstring injury Romain Saiss is dealing with could be a big deal. He had to be subbed off on Saturday.

Semifinal odds
Argentina vs. Croatia (over/under 2.5 goals)

2 p.m. ET Tuesday, Fox

Argentina to win (-120)

Croatia to win (+360)

Regulation tie (+240)

Unless you think a streak is about to be broken on Tuesday, we don’t advise you to take a Croatia win in regulation. Croatia hasn’t won a World Cup knockout round game in regulation since July 4, 1998. Each of its last five World Cup knockout round wins since its third-place finish in 1998 have come via penalty kicks or in extra time. Croatia’s ability to get a game to extra time is why Argentina isn’t more of an overwhelming favorite to win the game in 90 minutes. The under feels like the right side at -190 and we wouldn’t be surprised at all with a 1-1 tie at the end of 90.

France vs. Morocco (2.5)

2 p.m. ET Wednesday, Fox

France to win (-185)

Morocco to win (+550)

Regulation tie (+290)

This is the toughest test yet for Morocco’s stingy defense. We’re fascinated to see how they play Mbappe; England double-teamed him nearly every time he was within sniffing distance of the goal. If Morocco does the same thing, there could be space for someone like Griezmann or Giroud. We’ll also go with the under in this game. It’s at -165.

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