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Sport World Cup: England tipped by Australians to win tournament ahead of Belgium, France and Croatia

06:00  10 july  2018
06:00  10 july  2018 Source:   msn.com

Then there were eight: England round out quarter-final draw as second favourites

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Maybe it was the memes, or Gareth Southgate's canny management, or maybe some people just want to watch the world burn, but it looks like Australians are barracking for England to win the World Cup .

Video provided by Reuters

Maybe it was the memes, or Gareth Southgate's canny management, or maybe some people just want to watch the world burn, but it looks like Australians are barracking for England to win the World Cup.

Having reached the semi-finals stage of the showpiece event in Russia, ABC asked its readers who they hoped would win the World Cup — and by some distance, they've opted for the Three Lions to end 52 years of hurt.

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© Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Croatia has made history after beating England in a thrilling match to set up a showdown with France in the final of the World Cup . Fan puts 0,000 on France to win World Cup .

Croatia , in their third straight game that went to extra time, rode its resiliency to a semifinal win and ended England ’s effervescent run in this tournament . [ World Cup Final: Follow our live coverage of France vs. Croatia ].

England comes in with 40.3 per cent of the vote — the majority among the four teams — ahead of Belgium's 28.67 per cent, Croatia at 19.32 per cent and France's 11.71 per cent.

Arguably the favourites on paper to win the title lie on the other side of the draw, with France and Belgium duking it out for a spot in the decider.

Those two sides come together on Thursday at 4:00am (AEST), while France and Belgium contest the first semi-final the day before, also at 4:00am.

England's Harry Maguire celebrates scoring a goal with John Stones. © Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins England's Harry Maguire celebrates scoring a goal with John Stones. But England will fancy itself against a technically excellent Croatia side, especially given its formidable strength on set pieces.

England's biggest gamble came in its final group-stage clash, against Belgium, where it rotated its side in a stodgy 1-0 loss to the Red Devils, but conceding first place in Group G appeared to put Southgate's side on the easier side of the draw.

The Three Lions had a tough fixture against Colombia to see out — won on penalties after a 1-1 draw — but it opened the door for a run to the semis thanks to a meet-up with Sweden, which England won 2-0 without too much fuss.

Now it all comes down to the do-or-die clash with Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in only its third-ever World Cup semi-final, following a win in 1966 en route to winning its only title, and a loss to West Germany in 1990.

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