Previewing 2018 World Cup Quarterfinals

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Uruguay vs France

France showed why they were favorites coming into this tournament as they defeated Argentina 4-3 including getting two goals from their talented forward Kylian Mbappe. Uruguay on the other hand got two goals from Edison Cavani to get past Portugal in what a very contentious match. This match between France and Uruguay could very well be a classic as the French have a great attack and Uruguay plays awesome defense. Expect this to be one of the best matches played in the tournament.

Predictions

James: France. More balanced and they look like they can score a lot making it difficult for that great Uruguayan defense.

Thomas Martin: France rides the Mbappe road to the win, but Uruguay makes it very bumpy.

Tali Raphael: France. I would probably have Uruguay winning, but Cavani is injured and with that goes Uruguay’s ability to press high as effectively and the passing between the forwards that is simply unparalleled. France has the quality to see off the squad if it’s just Suarez.

Brazil vs Belgium

Brazil made Mexico look silly as they easily defeated them 2-0. Neymar helped lead the way with a goal of his own in that contest. Belgium in their match with Japan seemed like they were about to bow out of the tournament as Japan got a 2-0 lead early in the second half, but they were determined and they came back to win 3-2 including getting a late goal in additional time from Nacer Chadli. Belgium’s offense is incredibly strong which will make it tough for Brazil, but the Brazilians have some of the best tactics in this tournament.

Predictions

James: Brazil. I want Belgium to win this, but you can’t count out Brazil.

Thomas: Brazil manages to pull it together again for at least one more match.

Tali: Belgium. I am just sick of this Brazil team. I hope Lukaku tears them up. I’m just letting my biases get the better of me.

Russia vs Croatia

No one ever saw this result coming as Russia stunned Spain in penalty kicks and Croatia narrowly defeated Denmark as they also won in penalty kicks. Russia is the surprise story of the tournament thus far as they are the lowest ranked nation to make the World Cup this year. Croatia has been phenomenal, but they almost saw the possibility of bowing out earlier than they wanted to as they won by the skin of their teeth. This could be a fun match between two Eastern European countries.

Predictions

James: Croatia. To put it simply, Croatia is better.

Thomas: I’m finally on the Croatia hype train. So Choo Choo!

Tali: Croatia. Modric and Rakitic escaped after a bad game. I don’t think they let that happen again, especially against a weaker backline than what they saw with Denmark. Also Croatia is comfortable attacking or playing on the counter, something Spain did not have any desire to do against Russia.

Sweden vs England

The Swedish played an awesome match against Switzerland as they bested the Swiss 1-0 on an Emil Forsberg goal. England also played a great match against Colombia which saw them concede a goal to the Colombians deep into additional time, but won on penalty kicks. Harry Kane scored his sixth goal this tournament which leads him in the Golden Boot race. Sweden has been playing great this tournament, but now this will be a really hard test for them as England has been outstanding and have a really deep squad.

Predictions

James: England. They’ve got a lot of fire power and a better put together squad. Sweden might give it all they’ve got, but England is mighty.

Thomas: Sweden continues their excellent run and sends Harry Kane and the English squad packing… again.

Tali: England. England also scraped through against Colombia as did Sweden over Switzerland. But England has more speed and attacking verve at their disposal, even without Jamie Vardy available.

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