After a World Cup group stage that brought so many dramatic shocks, the Round of 16 was all going to plan until Spain lost to Morocco!
Luis Enrique’s men had apparently practised penalties 1,000 times…only to go and miss every single one. It’s a shame they don’t award wins for possession and safe passes - the Spaniards would be crowned champions!
Portugal got one back for the big dogs by thrashing Switzerland (without Cristiano Ronaldo), Croatia squeezed past Japan to set up a clash with Brazil and of course, England made it safely through!
We have our FINAL Big5 game of the tournament coming up. Predict the four quarter-final results and you could walk away with a share of £1,000+, courtesy of Network Gaming in association with 101 Great Goals.
Just sign up, deposit £5, pick your results and follow your results!
We’ve tasked our tipster ‘The Mailman’ with giving his best shouts. Let’s see if you agree…
The Mailman says…
Brazil (vs Croatia)
A 4-1 South Korean blitz was the perfect way to signal a samba entrance into knockout football.
Brazil’s 9.4xG is the most of any nation left in the competition - a nod towards their ability to work high-quality chances at will.
On the other hand, the Croatians have conceded 5.0xG, second-worst to only Portugal (5.1xG) of those populating the quarter-finals.
If Brazil can keep it tight, they have enough to outscore a Kockasti side lacking bite in the final third.
Portugal (vs Morocco)
No Ronaldo, no problem, as Portugal’s replacement delivered the first World Cup knockout stage hat-trick since 1990.
Of course, Morocco occasionally rode their luck to be here. However, they’re also good value for their first-ever quarter-final appearance after successfully shutting out Spain (7 shots against and 0.62xGA) and each of their Group opponents.
Unfortunately, the writing may be on the wall for the Africans, who now have more than Alvaro Morata and a thousand passes to navigate.
Against a rampant Portugal with firepower in abundance on the bench? It’s a frighteningly tall task.
France (vs England)
This isn’t blind optimism, I don’t think!
It may be a big if, but if Kyle Walker and Luke Shaw deal with the two wingers whilst the midfield trio keeps Antoine Griezmann quiet, there’s every chance England put France to the sword.
Of course, France’s quality will prevail on their day, but they’ll need to overperform to keep hold of a clean sheet.
The Three Lions’ 12 strikes at the World Cup is a tournament-high, equipped with in-form components along the forward line.
Ready to make your picks?
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