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FIFA World Cup Quarterfinal Predictions
Now the tournament steps up a notch and goes primetime.
I'm writing this article a few days early so I can get all the predictions in before the quarterfinal round begins in the 2018 edition of the FIFA World Cup. Last week, I went three for four, better than I ever did in any round of the 2018 NHL playoffs. Hmm. That actually hurts. I wonder how Achilles did.
As an FYI recap, the quarter-final teams match-ups are as follows: Uruguay vs. France, Brazil vs. Belgium, Russia vs. Croatia and England vs. Sweden.
So here, in an attempt to strike while the iron's hot, are my picks for the final eight:
Uruguay vs. France - As long as France takes Uruguay seriously and actually attempts to play some offense, they should move on. Although they will lose if it goes to penalty kicks. France advances to the semis.
Brazil vs. Belgium - An old saying in sports is, "Don't wake the sleeping giant" and unfortunately for Belgium, Mexico did just that. While this particular Brazilian team is the weakest they've fielded in years and Belgium is on a Cinderella run, Brazil is still too strong and too steeped in World Cup depth tradition for Belgium to continue in the tournament. Brazil advances to the semis.
Russia vs. Croatia - Russia's easy ride to the quarters is as suspect as their dealings to host the event. Yet they are a good team. But so is Croatia. This is Russia's first test against a quality team and it should be interesting to see how they respond. It just might come down to the emotional push of home field advantage. Russia advances to the semis.
England vs. Sweden - England has been a dud in the World Cup for so long that their appearance this deep might almost be enough for the hooligans and punters. Yeah, right. But they've got a legitimate shot to go all the way; they've finally put a team together where youth is the focus and they're finally trying to score goals instead of defend them. Sweden is still all about defense and ball possession, so it's two opposing strategies head-to-head here; the age old battle of offense against defense. Tough call, and I think I'm going with my heart over my gut here but... England advances to the semis.
So my final four picks are: France, Brazil, Russia and England.
Your turn, stupid Russian cat.
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