France, Brazil, Croatia and England Favorites to Qualify for Semi-Finals

Jordan Pickford

Hosts Russia play Croatia in a World Cup quarter-final match at the Fisht Stadium on Saturday.

England might disagree, and the two countries could yet meet in the semi-finals.

He and other members of the squad have spent this week recounting their memories of 1998, when Croatia won 3-0 against Germany the last time they reached the quarter-finals.

Zlatko Dalic's side take on Russian Federation in the last eight in Sochi on Saturday, looking to reach the semi-finals at the showpiece tournament for the first time since 1998.

In the 2018 FIFA World Cup teams passing the group phase needed 7.7 shots on average to score a goal whereas teams that failed to qualify took 14.3 shots per goal.

Cavani scored twice as Uruguay beat Portugal 2-1 in the round of 16, while Group C winners France were inspired by two-goal teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe in their 4-3 win over Argentina.

Like the World Cup opening match, the final will be played at the 81,000-seater Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia.

The victor will play either England or Sweden in the semifinals.

None of the teams in this side of the draw would have begun the tournament with realistic expectations of reaching the final.

The other game is France v Uruguay.




Didier Deschamps's team doubled their lead in the 61st minute when Muslera made a bad error, failing to parry a speculative shot from Griezmann and watching in horror as it looped across his goalline.

Another shocking game was Belgium-Japan, in a major shocker, Japan was winning the game 2-0, but a soccer match has 90 minutes and for the last 25 minutes Belgium dominated and were able to pull a win in the last minute, literally.

Belgium may be 5th on this list- but they're also coming off of a comeback so big, it hasn't happened in more than 50 years.

Coach Tite has started with Fagner on the right side of defence since Brazil's second game, a 2-0 win over Costa Rica.

In a Kazan Arena expected to be dominated by yellow-clad Brazil fans, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne have a chance to prove they can cut it at the highest global level.

You couple that with the fact that the Swedish defense leads the World Cup in blocked shots-and it makes this match appear a lot more interesting than the line bets are letting on.

No South American side have won on European soil since a Pele-inspired Brazil 60 years ago, but in a World Cup of shocks and surprises, nothing can be taken for granted.

Then it's Brazil and Belgium's turn to try to continue their World Cup adventure.

How did England's latest match go?

Both of them may have played their last World Cup-and even with all of their accomplishments, they will always be remembered by the tournament they could never conquer.

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