The quarter-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia is fast approaching and fans are eagerly waiting for their team to put their opposition to swords and march on. Eight of the best sides aided by some strong attacking play and fortuitous penalty shootouts are now waiting in the wings to play another high-pressure match while carrying the burden of expectation of an entire nation. The teams that qualified to quarter-finals after tasting success over their Round of 16 opponents are - France, Uruguay, Brazil , Belgium, Sweden, England, Croatia and Russia. The tournament has proved to be one of the most intriguing ones of recent times with teams playing high-quality football. Here we look at how the teams shape up before the quarters and who holds the edge in those ties: France, Uruguay, Brazil, Belgium Sweden, England, Russia, and Croatia Qualify for 2018 FIFA World Cup Quarterfinals: A Look at Their Respective Journeys at WC So Far.
Uruguay vs France on July 6: Match 1, Quarter-finals
Uruguay escaped past Portugal with the help of a brace from Edinson Cavani and will be heavily dependent on its front two of Cavani and Luis Suarez to combine well as they have done in the past to have any chance of holding a powerful French side. Their apparent lack of possession is a cause of concern although the Portuguese could not take advantage of it; the French will not be so kind. Get Uruguay vs France - Live Football Score, Match 1, Quarter-finals - Summary Here.
France have Kylian Mbappe in his prime and he single-handedly deadly destroyed Argentina bagging a brace and carving out a penalty. They leaking three goals should not ring the alarm bells yet as the defense has held fort well in the past. Their main strategy will be to get the likes of Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann on the ball more to get them through to semis. Advantage: France.
Brazil vs Belgium on July 6: Match 2, Quarter-finals
Belgium showed their strength in dealing with a Japanese side who looked to have outplayed them until mid-way through the second half. They will need to rectify those mistakes against a strong Brazilian team which has improved with each passing game. Romelu Lukaku had an off day in the round of 16, but his quality makes him the player to watch out for a while other big names in Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard remain a dangerous proposition. Get Brazil vs Belgium - Live Football Score, Match 2, Quarter-finals - Summary Here.
Neymar is found his scoring touch for the Selecao but seems to have not got over his habit of play acting. His combinational play involving Philippe Coutinho and Willian has been the hallmark of Brazil’s play so far in Russia. Their Defense surely looks far stronger than the Red Devils which means they hold the upper hand going into the game. Advantage: Brazil.
Sweden vs England on July 7: Match 3, Quarter-finals
England were in cruise control for most of the game against Colombia but let go of the lead in the dying moments of the match. They came back strong in the penalties to clinch a vital game which just goes on to show this side is not the English team we are used to seeing-fluffing their lines. They will have Sweden next, who are masters of getting their job done, be it ugly. Get Sweden vs England - Live Football Score, Match 3, Quarter-finals - Summary Here.
Prior to the World Cup, all eyes were on Emil Forsberg to deliver for Sweden, and he has not disappointed so far. His creativity will be key for the team and will also determine if the forward line has a saying in the outcome of the game. Advantage: England.
Russia vs Croatia on July 7: Match 4, Quarter-finals
Russians will quickly need to get the victory over Spain out of their mind and start the battle from scratch again when the Croatians come to challenge them in Saturday’s first quarter-final game. It was a real battle for the home team and defending for majority of the game without the ball at their feet just goes on to show their mental toughness. Get Russia vs Croatia - Live Football Score, Match 4, Quarter-finals - Summary Here.
Croatia have Luka Modric at his best and him along with Ivan Rakitic have not allowed the opposition to dictate play. They will look to do the same against the Russians and try and bring Mario Mandzukic into the game more in comparison to the one against Denmark. Advantage: Croatia.
Some of the games lined up have the feel of a final before final and fans will be hoping the games live up to the hype that is being generated around the games. But if the tournament is anything to go by, expect the games to entertain right to the very end.