Ronnie Whelan is predicting a France-England World Cup final.

The former Liverpool and Republic of Ireland star is in St Petersburg for RTÉ Sport for the first of the last four-games tonight between France and Belgium.

He has been impressed by the progress the Red Devils have made under former Wigan and Everton boss Roberto Martinez, but reckons they’ll come up short against France.

"Like everybody, I was surprised when he got the job, but it was a masterclass the last night against Brazil," said Whelan.

"When they had the ball they had three at the back, when they lost the ball they went straight away into five at the back and they did it so well.

"It left (Eden) Hazard and (Kevin) De Bruyne to go at Brazil when they got the ball back. I thought it was amazing how he did it, how he worked it out and how the players did it.

"I think it’s a hard one to call; both of them are starting to play really, really well now. Belgium are unbeaten in the whole thing, not lost a game, France have some very good players as well.

"It’s hard to call and it’s like the Brazil game against Belgium, it’s very hard to know which was it’s going to go.

"I’d go for France – I think they have enough all round to win it. I wouldn’t be surprised if it went to penalties, and then it’s up for grabs, because it’s that close."

England are the surprise package at this World Cup and they take on Croatia in Wednesday’s second semi-final at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow and Whelan fancies them to win too.

Croatia powered through their group with convincing wins over Nigeria and Argentina along with a 2-1 victory over Iceland after their passage through to the last 16 was secured.

But since then they have needed penalties in both of their knock-out games, squeezing past Denmark and hosts Russia on spot kicks after extra-time.

"I think England will win it because I’ve watched Croatia closely since the start – once they won their first mach I was thinking to myself ‘this is a really, really good team’. Performances have gotten worse since and it’s there for England. I think England could be in the final," said Whelan.

"France-England final – that’s what I’m going with."

The final is on Sunday, kick-off 4pm, with the third-fourth place play-off on Saturday.

You can follow the FIFA World Cup all the way with RTÉ. Live blogs of every game on RTÉ.ie and the News Now App, with all remaining games live on RTÉ television and RTÉ Player.