The FIFA World Cup quarter-finals battle lines are drawn, the intensity is peaking up as the 2018 FIFA World Cup Champions are a mere three wins away from the football world’s most prestigious crown – the FIFA World Cup ‘golden trophy’.
Defending champions Germany could not progress beyond the Group stage and sentimental favourites Argentina, Portugal crashed out at the first knockout hurdle. Uruguay, with an all-win record in the four FIFA World Cup 2018 outings, tournament’s youngest side France, Neymar’s Brazil, all-conquering Belgium, Sweden, England, hosts Russia and Croatia have kept the excitement alive with the quarter-finals action scheduled to kick start on Friday with Uruguay vs France tie.
The matches for Indian fans will be live on Sony Ten 2 (English), Sony Ten 3 English and Sony ESPN (Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Bengali) on Friday and Saturday. The SonyLIV subscribers can catch the live streaming on the SonyLIV app or SonyLIV.com.
WORLD CUP QUARTER-FINALS LINE-UP
Friday, July 6:
Saturday, July 7:
The all-conquering Uruguay will be tested by the rapidly improving France in the first quarter-final tie on Friday evening. Didier Deschamps’ side was not so impressive and had faced criticism after their goalless draw against Denmark in their World Cup opener. However, this youngest team in the FIFA World Cup 2018 is fresh from a 4-3 win that has shown the door to Lionel Messi-led Argentina in the round of 16 stage. Down by two goals, the French had rallied with a resolve to enforce the win for a quarter-finals date with Uruguay, who too have been impressive in eliminating Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal in the pre-quarter-finals. Uruguay in their duel with a resurgent France will also have to guard against the law of averages.
Brazil vs Belgium may simply be clubbed among the best fixtures of the FIFA World Cup 2018. Brazil and Neymar, after the shaky Group Stage games, have lifted their game to the levels worth the Brazil football colours as they outscored Mexico 2-0 in their last match. Belgium, after their rampaging Group Stage performances, were in trouble against a composed Japan. They, though, managed to pull off a 3-2, the game against Brazil will be a litmus test with Neymar back at his best after having regained his full fitness.
Croatia vs Russia will be the battle of two dark horses of the World Cup 2018. Russians had toppled Spain, the firm favourites to reach the final, while Croatia have stunned the another fancied combine in Argentina. The Croatian midfield, however, was seen in trouble in the last game in spite of a win over Denmark. Hosts Russia will have a strong support at the Kazan stadium on Saturday. Whatever the outcome of this match, the tournament is bound to have a sports semi-finalist.
Sweden, another rank outsiders in the quarter-finals of this World Cup of upsets, will take on England to complete the semi-finals line-up. The Swedes have topped the Group that had fancied Mexico and defending champions Germany. England have been impressive in the Group Stage, before winning in a World Cup shootout for the first time ever to book the quarter-finals berth. The two teams performance in the World Cup so far has all the ingredients to make this last quarter-final an intriguing battle where the Swedes will be gunning for yet another upset.