France/England Is Dream World Cup Matchup

CBS Sports soccer writer Roger Gonzalez believes England will beat Croatia and face France in World Cup final

Ferrall On The Bench
July 10, 2018 - 4:44 pm
Soccer: World Cup-England vs Sweden

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The end of the 2018 World Cup is almost near, and the entire planet is lingering in anticipation.

While international soccer fans patiently wait to see who will remain standing to face France in the final game on Sunday, we still have one more game to play before the epic finale. CBS Sports soccer writer Roger Gonzalez dropped by CBS Sports Radio to preview the second semifinal, England versus Croatia, which kicks off Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET. 

Gonzalez believes England will win, as Croatia will likely be fatigued after surviving back-to-back games in extra time versus Denmark and Russia.

“I think England is in a good spot right now, and they got the chance to do some big things,” Gonzalez said on Ferrall on the Bench. “I thought it was a good performance from them (against Sweden) — maybe a performance that was more complete than their other ones. I thought they controlled the game really well. They had a game-plan of attacking as often as they could knowing that Sweden was a bit limited in the attack. They really tried to pour it on, and I thought they had a good performance that really builds confidence. More importantly, they didn’t go through extra time, which is certainly helpful not having two games in a row like Croatia did. I think England has a huge advantage with Croatia having played two straight matches in extra time, so (Croatia) will certainly have some tired legs.”

If the match unfolds as Gonzalez predicts, England would face France for the World Cup title. France last won the World Cup in 1998, while England last won it in 1966.

“I think France-England is the dream matchup for fans of the game that really want to see a historical matchup," Gonzalez said. "So we could see some history made."

Although soccer fans are excited to see which nation will be crowned world champions later this week, they also don’t want the tournament to end. Gonzalez said that describes him perfectly, but he knows that this is precisely why the World Cup is so sacred to billions of people.

“It’s part of what I think makes the World Cup special — to enjoy the time while it’s here because we only get it once every four years,” Gonzalez said. “It’s quite the competition, but there’s certainly a feeling of sadness when it’s over because of how great it is. But in the future, we got the 2026 World Cup (in North America), which will have more teams in it — so more games, and maybe that will be a little bit easier to handle when it’s done.”