QuarterBacks and Crosschecks Column: The first three weeks of the FIFIA World Cup in Russia has been nothing short of absolutely entertaining. Including heavy favorite Germany not making it out of the group stage for the first time ever and Argentina limping into the knockout rounds then losing in the round of 16. There is also England who has look merely average advancing to the Quarterfinals and Brazil who haven't looked great but are still alive. All of these things plus crazy comebacks, unreal upsets, ridiculous flopping and so much more has made this World so much fun to watch. Now we hope that the drama continues into the Quarterfinals as only eights team remain. Even though it has been incredibly hard to predict each match, I'm going to try and do it anyways. Here is the preview of the Quarter Finals and everything you need to know:
Uruguay vs France: This could very well be the best match of the World Cup. Uruguay has looked great so far as they have been ultra consistent. Luis Suarez and Edison Cavani are playing at a very high level and they look like they could go all the way. But man, does anyone have more confidence than France right now? They looked electric in that win vs Argentina and have all kinds of talent to win it all. This game comes down to the stars. And France just has more of them with guys like Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappé. Uruguay will play tough as they always do, but in the end France has to many playmakers and scores late. France wins 2-1 in Full Time.
Belgium vs Brazil: This should be really, really fun to watch. Because what Brazil team is going to show Up? I don’t really, know we haven't seen Brazil at there best at all in this tournament, and when they are at their best they are arguably the best team in the world. Neymar, despite his flopping and on the field antics, played well against Mexico and has looked better as the tournament has gone on. Belgium has looked good throughout, despite having to come back down 2-0 to Japan. They are explosive and Brazil could be in big-time trouble if they don’t come to play. But in this case, Brazil and Neymar show up big against Belgium, using their strong defense and speed to stop any attack that Belgium might have. It is a close game, but Brazil gets one step closer. Brazil 1-0 in Full Time
Russia vs Croatia: Russia is the team out of the eight that is the really big surprise, and in all honesty, probably shouldn't still be playing. But hey, they somehow survived Spain and now have a date with Croatia. You could make the argument that Croatia has been the best team in the tournament. They have played brilliantly, so calm, controlled and they have confidence when they are on the attack. They have the ability to adapt to any situation, or dictate the pace of the game. They can’t sleep on Russia though, because they are the host, will play hard and with a lot of energy. Both these teams advanced via penalties. And it will be the same way again. This match will be physical from the start, and both teams will go into the penalties having not scored a goal. It will be Croatia winning in penalties and advancing to the semi-finals.
England vs Sweden: If there was ever a time for England to win it all, the time is now. They have an enormous opportunity that they must take advantage of. They roll into their match against Sweden having not played well. They have really looked complete average and if they keep up this type of play, they will go home this weekend. But with leading goal scorer Harry Kane looking invincible right now, and defender John Stones playing the way he is, England has a chance to rally around those two and make a push. England runs into a Swedish team who can strike when you least expect it, and play a really defensive type of game, which is not what England wants to do.They are going to have to find a way to spread out the defense and give Harry Kane a chance to capitalize. This is a real tough one because England hasn’t looked great, and against this type of team they could easily slip. But once again, as he has done six times now, Harry Kane will find a way to put one in and carry England into the semi-finals. England 1-0 in Full time.